Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Friday, April 20, 2018

AU comes together to support local shop owner and AU alum

After a local ice cream shop in Glover Park began to face difficulties, members of the AU community decided to help out.

Volunteers began to help Max Keshani, the owner of Max’s Best Ice Cream, by working in his store for free after the death of his wife.

“It is times like these that community members must ask for help on behalf of people who have been treasured parts of our community for decades,” said School of International Service Professor Lori Handrahan, a friend of Keshani, in an email to The Eagle.

Keshani is an AU alum and former Eagle soccer player. He ran the ice cream shop with his wife Martha, who recently passed away, according to an email Handrahan sent to School of International Service students.

“Max and Marsha were best friends, business partners, lovers, husband and wife and old fashion sweethearts of the kind you don’t often see these days,” Handrahan said.

Handrahan lives in Glover Park and frequents the ice cream shop, as do many members of the community, she said.

“‘Max’s’ is the model of what a community, family owned business should be, a treasured small business in Glover Park, where many AU students also live, and a well-known and loved D.C. small-family business,” Handrahan said.

Since the passing of his wife, Keshani found himself struggling with the lack of help after reopening the shop.

“He needs a website, he needs help scooping ice cream and help making ice cream and more than anything he just needs to know that a community is there for him — as he has been for all of us all these years,” Handrahan said in the email.

Keshani and his wife did not hire any other employees to help them manage the ice cream shop. After his wife’s passing, Keshani cannot scoop ice cream and handle the front counter alone, according to the email sent out by Handrahan.

“Max needs the energy and support of young people right now to help him transform his business into something new because it will never again [be] Max & Marsha’s Ice Cream shop,” Handrahan said in an email to The Eagle.

Keshani has since received help from the local community and schools with volunteers calling and asking him what they can do to help. He said many of these volunteers have been AU students.

“I’m really grateful for all of it,” Keshani said.

Although Keshani still operates the ice cream shop alone, he said Max’s Best Ice Cream will continue to operate.

Keshani’s ice cream shop is frequented both by community members and famous government officials, including Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland of Security Janet Napolitano, according to the Washington Post.

Keshani, who referred to himself as a “people’s person,” said he makes an effort to get to know many of his customers by asking about their families to create a friendly environment.

“This is a mom-and-pop shop from the old days,” Keshani said.

College of Arts and Sciences senior Kit Blanke first met Keshani on a date with someone also named Max.

“The store was actually closed and cleaned up when we got there,” she said. “But Max went in back and got us ice cream anyway, he didn’t charge it because he said, ‘Max’s always deserve the best.’”

Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.