Mad Martha’s up for sale

Island ice cream staple Mad Martha’s is on the market. — Brian Dowd

After 50 years of scooping ice cream treats, the owners of Mad Martha’s Ice Cream are putting their business and buildings up for sale.

For the listed price of $10.5 million, you can be the owner of the Mad Martha’s brand and its three commercial buildings in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. 

The Vineyard Haven location is assessed at $1,118,800, the Oak Bluffs location at $1,482,900, and the Edgartown location at $1,130,300, according to records in each of the towns.

Paul and Patricia Roberts purchased the Mad Martha’s business in 1998. The owners and their real estate agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The shop is a favorite of former President Bill Clinton, who was photographed with a cone or two during his tenure in office.

Mad Martha’s is the second Island ice cream shop to be put on the market this year after the Edgartown Dairy Queen went up for sale last month.


  1. What friendly local private equity titan with a penchant for Snickers ice cream will step in and save this venerable institution? Come on, @BlueFlagCapital, buy it and roll it up with the Kelly House in an Edgartown ice cream arbitrage play!

  2. 3.7mm for the buildings. At a sale of 10.5mm that leaves 6.8 mm for a brand and goodwill. Assume a 5 percent return on capital. Whether financed by equity or debt, you won’t get your investment back. Pay 4mm for the buildings and brand your own ice cream or use the buildings for something else.

  3. Great memories as a two-decade visitor to Oak Bluffs and the Vineyard. Saw the Obama kids there one evening and Valarie Jarrett one afternoon. Decades a wonderful ice cream and good memories. I hope they find a buyer.

  4. Mad Martha’s owners were lucky to have big Rob running their place for like 25 years. He left and it went down hill. No one can make a frappe or Sundae the right way since. Way too much money for that business.

    • Hi Darrin……… Bob Young (and “Bibs”) were two interesting characters! My family and friends from US and UK, mostly, worked those counters in the late 80’s and early 90’s… It was an experience unlike any other… Each day was a new adventure…. My grandfather was alive back then… Made friends for life – but lost touch with the Scottish lasses – Sally Grant – Kirstie – Where art thou? haha. 🙂 Those were some of the best times of my entire life. I worked in the Oak Bluffs store…with the giant walk-in FREEZER…. And Bob (I think Bibs would also drive the “ambulance” and deliver the ice cream to the Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. It was all a wild and lovely ride!! Speak up if there are any “more of you” who also had this experience??!!!

      Kim (Downs)
      Stamford, Conn

      • Hi Kim, I worked in Oak Bluffs in 88 and Edgartown 2nd store in 89. We met in 89 and have a mutual friend Dave. Bob and Bibs were so good to me. Had the most wonderful times there, and still in touch with good friends made there. Wonderful memories, such fun and loved the island. I visited with my family in July 2016 and chatted to the staff in Oak Bluffs. It didn’t seem to have changed a bit. What a fantasy to buy the business and move to the Vineyard!! Dave already suggested we should all chip in ????

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