Alumnus Serves up Something Cool During the Dog Days of Summer
By: Nick Santangelo
Summer break may be winding down, but it’s still more than hot enough to cool down with a few scoops of ice cream. And there may be no better way for students to indulge in ice cream and explore a bit of Philadelphia than by stopping by Weckerly’s Ice Cream. Located in Philly’s Fishtown neighborhood, Weckerly’s was founded by Andy Satinsky, CLA ’03, and his wife Jen.
A history major, Satinsky came to Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA) as a transfer student after having a less-than-stellar experience at an out-of-state school.
“I applied to Temple because I wanted to move back to Philadelphia and go to a school that was more kind of part of the culture of the city and had a good reputation, good programs,” says Satinsky.
A bit of a nontraditional student, the entrepreneur commuted to campus while working part and sometimes full time. Despite that seemingly busy lifestyle, he says scheduling the courses he needed around his work hours was easy, making it possible for him to finish his last two years at CLA.
Though it’s been nearly two decades since Satinsky chose to study history at CLA, he recalls how versatile the program was. Thanks to the incredible breadth of courses available at CLA and the flexibility of the History Department, Satinsky was able to mix in elements of anthropology, sociology, arts and cultural studies.
Temple introduced me to resources in the city that I was able to access to learn how to be in a small business.
That interdisciplinary learning experience at CLA and Temple’s strong roots with the community stayed with Satinsky long after he graduated.
“Temple did a good job being part of the city of Philadelphia as opposed to kind of an entity that exists separate from it but within it,” he explains.
“Temple did a very good job of not just kind of occupying space in the city but really being a part of it, and when we started our business, we wanted to do the same. Also, I think Temple built habits of studying and doing paperwork better. When we were planning our business, we had never owned our own business before. We had a lot to learn, and I think that Temple introduced me to resources in the city that I was able to access to learn how to be in a small business. And it was definitely helpful.”
Today’s CLA students who have entrepreneurial goals of their own might want to follow Satinsky’s advice for getting them off the ground. In addition to various workforce development courses provided by the city, Satinsky recommends CLA students head across campus and take advantage of Fox’s Small Business Development Center.
For Satinsky, having a partner also helped. He’s particularly fortunate that his wife is also his business partner. Not only do Satinsky and his wife have a shared set of values and goals, but Jen also has a background as a pastry chef and is more of a doer while Satinsky is more of a planner.
The pastry chef background is what led to the idea for Weckerly’s since ice cream was Jen’s favorite thing to make. The duo also saw an incredible opportunity to make ice cream in Philly given what Satinsky says are “amazing, small, local dairy farms” in the area.
Looking forward, Satinsky hopes to open additional locations in other Philly neighborhoods, so CLA students may soon have even more options for enjoying a local scoop from an alumnus.