A local business has a sweet solution to the summer heat.
The Country Creamery, located inside the Ole Country Store along U.S. 29, offers ice cream, smoothies, pretzel rolls and milkshakes in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Sam Yoder, owner and operator of the Country Creamery, along with his business partner Blake Wagner said that the early response has been overwhelming so far from the public.
“It’s been really encouraging,” Wagner said. “Everybody says there needs to be a good family hangout, and that’s what we were really shooting for.”
The Country Creamery has a separate entrance alongside the side of The Ole Country Store - where the Amish Furniture Connection use to be, allowing it to stay open until 10 p.m.
Yoder, who is originally from Central Pennsylvania, worked for an Amish market in Baltimore that had similar offerings, and when he came to Culpeper he saw the opportunity to provide the community with that experience.
“It was kind of my dream to do a similar shop,” Yoder said.
“We first started talking about an ice cream shop last fall,” Wagner said, after they started Yoder’s Donuts in a food truck in the parking lot of the Ole Country Store. “I moved here for the donuts and then we started talking about the ice cream.”
The store offers ice cream - homemade by Kreider Farms in Lancaster, Pa. - pretzel logs, fruit smoothies, shakes and banana splits.
The pretzel logs have a variety of fillings - from hot dogs to chicken, bacon, swiss to pepperoni and mozzarella.
“It’s been popular so far,” Yoder said.
The scoops of the rich ice cream are generous to say the least, with two scoops encompassing a huge homemade waffle cone - made fresh daily.
“My goal was to be generous with the ice cream but keep our prices low as well,” Yoder said. “We wanted it to be affordable for families to come out.”
“A family of four will come in and they can walk out with a bill around $15,” Wagner said. “And everybody has a lot of ice cream.”
The store employs five, which includes a family feel as Yoder’s sister Jules works behind the counter on a warm spring day. To her left, people pick up orders at the outside window they’ve installed. Yoder said the line forms inside, but people are able to go outside to the porch area to wait and pick up their order.
“Anything in the store is available for purchase up to 10 o’clock, except the deli,” Yoder said.
Wagner said their milkshakes have been a big hit, with customers commenting on how thick and flavorful they are.
“The milkshakes are something we put a lot of thought into,” Yoder said.
Another huge hit have been the pretzel logs, and the homemade dips they offer - like the honey mustard sauce.
“We want to start making some of the others from scratch as well,” Wagner said. “We’re going to add some new flavors to the pretzels as well.”
“I think the biggest thing we’re going to do in the next couple of weeks is we’re going to start adding signature dishes, like pie and ice cream,” Yoder said. “There’s a girl that works for the store that’s going to make the pies in the store and we’re going to use that with the ice cream.”
Food is a common theme when it comes to the duo’s Amish roots.
“My dad was raised Amish, my whole family does food,” Yoder said. “There’s a very high quality and there’s recipes you can’t find anywhere else. There’s not a lot of other things they do, food is something we can all get behind and excel in.”
The store expects to offer live music in the future and community events, beginning with a car show fundraiser for the family of Ericka Estes. Estes, 20, died suddenly last month and worked at the Ole Country Store for four years. They will have a benefit car show June 22 from 5 to 8 p.m.
“We want to do it in memory of her and as a fundraiser for the family,” Yoder said.