No matter where I’ve lived, whenever someone learns I’m from Cochrane, they mention Mackay’s Ice Cream.
This video from the 100 Stories for 100 Years series features Chris, Heather, Rhona and Robyn Mackay talking about their family, growing up in Cochrane and this famous local business.
From an Article in Big Hill Country 1977
James (Jimmy) served overseas with the Canadian Armed Forces in World War II. In 1946 he married Christina (Chris) Beck who was born near Glasgow, Scotland , and he and his bride returned to Cochrane.
Jimmy and his wife operate a general store, which was formerly owned by F.W. Maggs. For the past 15 years they have been making and selling ice cream.
Chartered busses on tours make a point of stopping in Cochrane so their passengers can buy a cone. People have sent papers published from around the world, complimenting them on their ice cream. Jimmy and Chris have made an interesting scrap book of them. They make every flavor their imagination can come up with, even confetti ice cream for weddings. Their cardboard ice cream cartons are designed of dark, green plaid the Mackay tartan. in 1971 they started a guest book which now contains signatures of people from many parts of the world. They also have a map of the world on a wall of the store and a thumb tack is placed on every country the guests are from.
Big Hill Country 1977 page 395
Mackay’s has a great history wall along one side of the interior of the store. There are photos of early Cochrane, Chris and Jimmy Mackay, and receipts from long ago. Also the ice cream machine that’s visible in the video.
We believe the features under the roof line behind the MacKay’s sign are original to the building.