As reported by Greg Reibman (he, him), President, Charles River Regional Chamber
There isn’t a business in Newton that’s more iconic or well-loved than Cabot’s Ice Cream & Restaurant. For generations it’s been a place where memories were made. Where birthdays, graduations, Little League wins or losses, first dates, reunions, and countless other milestones and rites of passage were celebrated. And over the decades, there hasn’t been a more generous, gentle or humble small business owner than proprietor Joe Prestejohn.
Joe’s given thousands of kids their first jobs. He’s scooped thousands of gallons of free ice cream literally at hundreds of community events. He’s been there for our first responders. He’s donated money and time to the Boys & Girls Club, the Carroll Center for the Blind and many other local nonprofits.
He’s been there with us in happy times and sad.
His late parents, Joseph and Catherine Prestejohn, purchased Cabot’s in 1969. Joe, then 11 years old — along with his sister Susan Lipsky — have been working there ever since, providing a constant and consistent presence in Newtonville amidst so much change.
Now 65, Joe is ready to retire. Or semi-retire, anyway.
He’s selling Cabot’s.
But just like a famous Cabot’s hot fudge sundae, this news comes with a cherry on top.
That’s because, after fielding many offers over many years, Joe and Susan have found the perfect owners to carry on the Cabot’s tradition. They’ve found owners committed to emulating what this family business means to Newton.
Their old-fashioned ice cream parlor will be entrusted to Kay (Karen) and Kevin Masterson, proprietors of Johnny’s Luncheonette, the also wildly-popular retro-style diner in Newton Centre.
What we know about the Mastersons
Newton already knows what Kay and Kevin (in photo) are capable of. Johnny’s, once the storied Langley Deli, was another business that already meant so much to generations when they took ownership in 2014.
We also know they share the same commitment to community. During the COVID lockdown, Johnny’s donated and delivered thousands of quarts of soup to those who were unable, or too frightened, to go out. They’re consistently donating to local causes. They’ve led efforts to promote sustainability and independent farming. They’re tireless advocates for small businesses.
“I’ve entertained a lot of offers, but I really think Kevin and Kay are the best fit to merge these two businesses,” Joe Prestejohn told me.
“I believe I’ve found someone to preserve what we’ve been able to create, someone who can maintain the same caliber of service,” he added.
Kay says she has nothing but respect and admiration for all Joe and Susan have done.
They’re committed to keeping Cabot’s employees, look and feel. They’re committed to preserving the Prestejohn legacy as a place that puts community at its center and Reese’s Pieces on top a Danielle’s Choice.
But wait, there’s sprinkles on top of this news too
|Once the Cabot’s sale goes through next month, Joe plans to help with the transition and then take a few weeks off.After that, he’s agreed to continue to have a presence at Cabot’s.Look for Joe behind the counter, making sundaes on Saturdays (along with parfaits, frappes, malteds, freezes and the rest) and on other days too, helping new generations create new memories.|
|And that’s what you need to know for today, unless you need to know how to make the perfect Cabots 64-ounce giant frappe (as seen on “Good Morning America”).|
Greg Reibman (he, him)