MIDDLEBURG – The Stevens family remembers every smile at their walkup window at Dreamette Ice Cream, from the innocent looks of anticipation from children, to the glances of grandparents who still …
MIDDLEBURG – The Stevens family remembers every smile at their walkup window at Dreamette Ice Cream, from the innocent looks of anticipation from children, to the glances of grandparents who still reminiscence of a time when such simple pleasures defined a day.
One cone at a time, Dreamette has quickly been embraced by a community that knows about the iconic shop from Jacksonville’s Murray Hill area. The new store, which opened on Labor Day weekend, already is creating its own brand of nostalgic followers.
Mark Stevens worked with Jacksonville Dreamette owner Johnny Nettles for years. The closer he got to retirement, the more he wanted his own ice cream shop.
“I wanted to copy that atmosphere,” Stevens said. “What you always remember are the families, especially the kids. It is an iconic place in Jacksonville. We want to bring that same atmosphere to Middleburg.”
Starting a new restaurant, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, was risky. But the Stevens said they haven’t slowed down since the first banana split was made.
On opening day, hundreds of people stood in the rain waiting for their turn at the window. Although the line wrapped around the building, but nobody complained.
“The reputation [of the Jacksonville store] sold us,” said Robin Stevens.
“If we tried to start with something new, it would be a lot more difficult,” Mark Stevens said. “When we opened our doors 20-25% of our customers already new the name Dreamette.”
The parents started the business as an investment for their son, Matthew. They plan to turn over the business, sprinkles and all, and return to retirement.
“The amazing this is seeing a family enjoying some ice cream and all the phones are in their pockets,” Matthew said. “It’s a real family moment. You don’t see a lot of that anymore.”
The store is located at 2620 Blanding Blvd. To keep things simple, the corner store only offers walkup service, and it only accepts cash.
The menu includes all flavors of ice cream and dairy treats. It doesn’t sell chili dogs, onion rings or chicken tenders. Dreamette is known for its ice cream, so that’s all they do.
“In a world of COVID, it’s nice when a family can get out and spend about $12 for ice cream,” Mark said. “That’s a wonderful feeling.”
Which creates a lot of memories.
For more information on Dreamette, visit https://www.restaurantji.com/fl/jacksonville/dreamette-/.