Owners of two new Perry businesses that undertook "soft openings" in late June say the community has already shown tremendous support. The two businesses, one across the street from the other, are Black Market Pizza at 1117 Second St., owned by Greg Harvey, and Firehouse Ice Cream Shop at 1122 Second St., owned by the Eiteman family. Both businesses are planning grand openings once they have their operations smoothed out. Brian Eiteman, one of the Firehouse Ice Cream owners, said they decided to do a soft opening on June 29 to give themselves time to work out all the kinks. He laughed a little and said, "There are some kinks we need to work out. Our soft-serve ice cream machine quit working and one of the soda fountain dispensers is leaking." But, he added, those things are nearly fixed. Soft openings are often done by new businesses these days. The idea is that if a business just opens up and goes by word of mouth, rather than opening right off with a big splash, it gives the owner time to establish a routine, get employees up to speed and work on any problems that might arise. And while that was the intent for Black Market and Firehouse, their openings were anything but soft because of the response, which in both cases was fueled through social media. Black Market Pizza opened with what Harvey hoped would be little fanfare on June 21, but word of mouth turned into word of social media via Facebook, text messages and more, and by June 23 the pizzeria was swamped. It happened again on June 28. "We had 221 pizza orders in 35 minutes," Harvey said. "Not even my seasoned staff in Ames could have handled the load well." This is the second Black Market Pizza location, the first being in Ames. "I just want people to know how much I appreciate the support and the overwhelming response from the community. Last Friday was painful and some people had to wait a very long time for their pizza," Harvey said. He knows at least a couple people left angry because they had to wait so long, or because the order wasn’t quite right. Part of the issue has been getting the staff up to speed, even though there was training before the restaurant opened. "I also want people to know we aren’t a fast-food restaurant," he said. A regular thin-crust pizza will normally take about a half hour or so, but a deep-dish Chicago-style pizza will take 45 minutes just to bake. In fact, that time allowance for Chicago-style pizza is listed on the menu. Eiteman said their business was very busy on the June 29 opening, with 150 receipts at the end of the day. "That’s receipts, not people. There were some groups of people in here that took up two tables pushed together," he said. Firehouse Ice Cream has been created as a nostalgic 50’s and 60s ice cream parlor. But, the nostalgia is deeper than just the era. The décor, and some of the operating equipment has solid pieces of business history in Perry. The soda fountain came from Holcomb’s Pharmacy where Brian Eiteman’s grandmother worked behind the counter. She used her own recipes to make several sandwiches including egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad. Those items are on the menu, along with burgers and hot dogs like what was served at the Dairy Stripe before it closed quite a few years ago. An authentic juke box, filled with 100 rock and roll records from a collection of 300 records that will be rotated through the machine, is at patron’s disposal. The shop serves real phosphates and makes most of its syrup flavors from scratch. Order a coke and it will be made with real Coke syrup, with the flavors added as ordered. Still to come on the menu is a Green River, a drink that harkens back to the 50s and 60s. "We found out the Green River syrup is still in existence, so we are ordered some of the original recipe syrup, not the knock-offs, to serve here," he said. Anyone looking for diet food at either of the new businesses will be hard-pressed. Firehouse Ice Cream serves ice cream with a higher butterfat content. Eiteman said he wouldn’t take a lower butterfat content, even though many ice cream shops do. "We aren’t everyone else, and I’m not going to compromise the taste," he said. Black Market Pizza, from the crust up, is the brainchild of Harvey. He spares nothing to make his savory pizza concoctions, and offers such favorites as the Rueben Pizza, along with more traditional toppings. He is also serving Sunday Brunch beginning at 7 a.m. each Sunday. Diet is not part of the food vocabulary at Black Market. Pride, however, is. Harvey insists his own recipe for dough and sauce, along with the specialty pizzas, has made his Ames store a success, and he expects that will be the case in Perry.