Bop’s of Hattiesburg will be closing Monday, Dec. 10 after 14 years of business, according to a Facebook announcement Dec. 7.
After Bop’s posted the news on its Facebook page, more than 300 customers commented on their experiences with the family-owned business, many of whom claimed that Bop’s was one of their favorite places to go during their time at Southern Miss.
Roman Baggett, a Hattiesburg local, said that he and his girlfriend go to Bop’s every Sunday, so they are both disappointed that their tradition is ending.
“It’s pretty sad,” Baggett said. “I’ve lived in Hattiesburg all my life, and I’ve been going to Bop’s since it was in the [building that is now] Topher’s further up on Hardy Street. I guess with all the new places coming up around Southern, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a new Sunday ice cream place, but it is disappointing for sure.”
Jamie and Scott Martin, the owners of Bop’s in Hattiesburg, said they were devastated to announce that they would be closing their doors due to slow business. Like Baggett’s tradition at Bop’s with his girlfriend, the Martins’ relationship began through Bop’s.
“[Scott] has owned this Bop’s since the beginning, and I came into the picture since we got married almost 10 years ago,” Jamie said. “But we’ve been together almost 12 years. I met him through Bop’s when I sold advertising to him and we became friends.”
Though more than a decade has passed, Hattiesburg resident LaDonna McCain said she remembers working at Bop’s when it first opened.
“It was a small crew and most of us were college students at USM,” McCain said. “The atmosphere was fun and laid back, and Scott treated us like family.”
Because Bop’s signature frozen custards and concretes were new concepts at the time, McCain remembers being annoyed with having to explain them so often.
“To this day, if Bop’s is mentioned amongst my friends and I’m there, the question “What’s a concrete” will be asked with lots of laughter,” McCain said.
“I have college friends that live all over the country now, and anytime they come back to Hattiesburg, there is a mandatory stop at Bop’s. I know many people, myself included, are sad that Bop’s is closing. It has truly become a staple of Hattiesburg over the years,” he said.
Despite their sadness, the Martins said they have fond memories of experiences with Hattiesburg locals.
“We’ve won the Best of the Pine Belt Award for Best Dessert for several years and have had amazing staff members that will be lifelong friends,” Jamie said. “We’ve had staff that ended up getting married and start happy families. We’ve watched kids come through the drive-thru in car seats with their parents and have watched them grow up and drive themselves years later,” she said.
However, the most significant memory for Jamie was meeting her husband.
“We’ve been together for almost 12 years, married for almost 10 years, and we have two awesome children—all because we met at Bop’s,” Jamie said.