By Jane Hudson
Greenville residents and visitors can get a hand-dipped scoop of locally made ice cream without a drive to the country beginning June 6.
Simply Natural Creamery's much-anticipated Greenville location will open Wednesday at 317 Arlington Blvd., near the Publix and Office Depot. It's the original location of the WITN-TV studio and most recently was occupied by Gametime Gear.
About 30 different flavors of ice cream are offered in cups, cones, or waffle cones hand-made to order. Sundaes, banana splits and milk shakes also are available.
Simply Natural Creamery & Jersey Farm is a family owned dairy and creamery at 1265 Carson Edwards Road, Ayden. The creamery makes its own milk, butter and ice cream on site. A store at the farm sells hand-scooped ice cream and dairy products, and Simply Natural also distributes to local grocery stores from the Rocky Mount area to Atlantic Beach.
The Greenville location is the first off-site Simply Natural-operated retail store. The store has 20 employees.
The creamery's most popular ice cream is Butter Pecan, a rich buttery ice cream with crunchy pieces of pecans, scoopers said. The farm's signature flavor is Cow Pattie: chocolate ice cream with Reese's Cup pieces and chocolate chips. Besides classic chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, other flavors include Moo Moo Hugs (red velvet ice cream with swirls of cream cheese), Coffee Toffee, Toasted Coconut, Cow Tracks (chocolate ice cream with marshmallow cream and pecans), Blueberry Cheesecake, and Cotton Candy (that really tastes like cotton candy). There's also dairy-free sorbet.
One scoop of ice cream is $2.95 and a kid's scoop is $2.15. A one-scoop sundae -- topped with a choice of hot fudge, hot caramel, chocolate, strawberry or pineapple syrup with whipped cream and a cherry -- is $3.95.
Ice cream also is available in pint and half-gallon cartons, and refrigerator cases are stocked with Simply Natural's milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, cream, half-and-half, and butter.
"We tried to replicate the farm in Greenville," said Holly Rollins, who runs the local store with her husband Justin (and their baby daughter Allie). Holly's father, Neil Moye, and her uncle David own and operate Simply Natural farm and creamery with their families.
The Greenville location has a rustic charm, with wood floors, galvanized siding on the walls, and seating for 24 patrons at wooden tables with metal chairs. A hand-painted mural depicts the cows grazing at the Simply Natural farm.
"Opening the location in Greenville is more of a convenience thing," said Holly, whose favorite Simply Natural ice cream flavor is Apple Dapple. "If you want some ice cream, you may not have time to drive 30 minutes out to the farm.
"But we hope our customers in Greenville will want to go to the farm so they can see where their ice cream, milk and butter is made," Holly said.
Photos by 252Buzz photographer Bill Hudson.
Simply Natural Creamery-Greenville
317 Arlington Blvd.
Ice cream and dairy products produced at Simply Natural Jersey Farm and Creamery in Greene County
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 1:30-10 p.m. Sundays
Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, wrote The Daily Reflector's Hot Dish restaurant column for 12 years and the Greensboro News & Record's Short Orders restaurant column for 8 years. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.