Bluff Park's new ice cream shop fills sweet spot in community

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – On June 22, 2016, Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe opened their doors to the Bluff Park community.

During their busiest times of day, workers say they will serve a scoop a minute (60 people an hour).

After 47-years working in the construction business, owner David Hare says he wanted to bring back part of his childhood. He knew nothing about the ice cream business, except that he liked it.

"People are very excited. It's something that they say has been needed up here for a long time," said Hare.

Hare reached out to the National Ice Cream Retailers Association and found the Wisconsin-based Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company to serve as his supplier.

"I said, 'tell me some of the best ice cream sold in the United States.' That's where I found the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company. They sent me 24-pints to sample. I sampled all of it with friends and family," Hare said. After he had tried all of their delicious flavors, he wanted this to be the brand sold in his store.

The Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe rotates through about 100 different flavors. Some of their best sellers include; Caramel Apple Pie, Iced Laddy Dah, Cherry Italian Ice, Rocky Road, Munchy Madness, Coconut Almond Bliss and This Just Got Serious.

This Just Got Serious is one of Dave Deadman's favorite flavors. Deadman is one of the owners of the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company.

"You can see it's a real creamy salted caramel ice cream," said Deadman. "It has really big chunks of sea-salt fudge. And also mixed in there is cashews. So this one has a lot going on. And if you bite into the fudge itself, it has a really nice texture of sea-salt, enrobed sea-salt pieces. So you're getting salted caramel, salted caramel, salted caramel, and lots of yummy chocolate and texture."

Zanzabar is a multifaceted dark chocolate experience that is extremely popular at the Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe. So popular, that one customer waited for nearly an hour for the ice-cream to thaw to edible temperature after it came off the delivery truck.

"She told me that she had been craving Zanzabar all day! She said it was worth waiting for," said Hare.

No matter your flavor preference, or if you are 3 or 93-years-old, Hare says he made this shop for you.

"We wanted to be kid friendly. We have small little cones that we give to the children who are three and under. And then we've had customers come in here that are in their 90s. They come in in their wheelchairs and walkers, and I was very thoughtful in making sure they're comfortable in here too," Hare said.

After all his hard work, the end goal is simple. "I want this to become a destination. I want it to be a place that kids can grow up and remember going to with their grandparents for a special treat, for a big ball game win, or for their birthday parties, or just to do something with the kids or with the grandkids."

Make The Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe a family tradition today. They are located on 815 Shades Crest Rd, Birmingham, AL 35226. Open seven days a week from 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. For more information on birthday parties or booking private events, call (205) 423-5055.

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