July is National Ice Cream Month, and we are shedding a spotlight on Cherokee’s sweetest treats. These local shops say Cherokee County is the best place to live, work, and indulge your sweet tooth.

Bananas + Beehives

Owner, Laurie Sutton

Bananas and Beehives is a bakery, coffee shop, and ice cream shop,” explains owner Laurie Sutton. “In addition to our handmade baked goods, we offer extreme milkshakes, coffee, affogatos—a coffee-based dessert—and even handmade push pops. Our unique and bright space is perfect for hosting events as well, including baking classes, birthday parties, and decorating classes.”

What makes up an extreme milkshake?

“The first step is choosing the flavor of syrup that will line the inside of the glass,” says Laurie. “Next you choose whatever flavor of ice cream you want in your milkshake. We can even use sorbets for those who prefer dairy-free. Then you’ll choose what goes around the rim. Your options include marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, chocolate, or vanilla frosting. The milkshake is topped with a cookie of your choice, followed by a big scoop of whipped cream. Finally, you will choose two toppings, such as Airheads, Reese’s Pieces, chocolate-covered espresso beans, M&M’s, candy bars, or sprinkles, to name a few.” A Bananas and Beehives milkshake wouldn’t be complete without the store’s signature yellow spoon to help you tackle the monstrous dessert.

What motivated you to start an ice cream business?

“I have wanted to start this business since I was little,” Laurie recalls. “I pushed my husband toward it for about ten years. It took five years for us to find a space, and we wanted it to be in Downtown Canton. I love to bake, and I wanted to share baked goods as well. I also love ice cream on everything, so creating a place people could go for exciting things like extreme milkshakes with tasty toppings was a dream of mine.”

What is your most exciting flavor?

“The brightest flavor we offer is our Cookie Monster ice cream, which is a hit with kids. It features blue cotton candy ice cream with chocolate chip chunks,” Laurie says.[wonderplugin_carousel id=”2″]

Frosty Frog Creamery

Owner, Frank Cole

Owner Frank Cole handmakes all the ice cream at the Frosty Frog. It offers twenty-four flavors to choose from at any given time, several of which are unique to Frosty Frog. What makes its ice cream a notch above is the butterfat content. Frank creates his ice cream at sixteen percent butterfat, whereas other ice creams contain around twelve percent. This difference creates a super-premium ice cream with a much creamier texture than traditional ice cream. Frosty Frog is also famous for its Chocolate Chip Sundae.

What makes up a Chocolate Chip Sundae?

Frank explains one of the favorite treats his store features. “A chocolate chip sundae has our signature chocolate chip ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie, hot fudge, and whipped cream topped with a maraschino cherry. All Frosty Frog sundaes are made up of three scoops of our gourmet ice cream in whatever flavor you choose and then your choice of toppings. You can make it exactly what you like.”

What motivated you to start an ice cream business?

“In 2001 my wife, Glenda, retired and wanted to own a small business,” Frank recalls. “We decided to open a small ice cream and coffee shop somewhere people could come from the community and socialize. We opened Frosty Frog in 2002. Since then we’ve added food to our menu, and the business has grown ever since.”

What is your most exciting flavor?

Frank says, “It’s hard to pick just one. Honey Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie and Cherokee Gold are two of the most exciting flavors we offer, and both are unique to Frosty Frog. Cherokee Gold is a Butterfinger, banana, cheesecake flavor, and Honey Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie is just as it sounds. These are just two flavors of around three hundred sixty-five that I have created over the years. The flavors change all the time, so there is always something different to try at the Frosty Frog.”

Scooped on Main

Owner, Jill Mirabella

Scooped on Main is housed right in the heart of Historic Downtown Ball Ground. The shop is in a one-hundred-year-old building that used to house both city hall and the fire department until the 2000s. The ice cream counter now sits right where the fire trucks used to back in. Customers can enjoy their scoops of ice cream while walking through historic downtown, or they can sit and enjoy their treats on the newly added outdoor patio. The cookie sandwiches are especially a favorite among customers.

What makes up your cookie sandwich?

Owner Jill Mirabella explains, “We make our cookies in house in a variety of flavors, including sugar cookie and chocolate chip. First you pick out your cookie; next you choose your ice cream flavor. We shape a large scoop of ice cream and stick it between the two crumbly cookies, making a delicious treat.”

What motivated you to start an ice cream business?

Jill says, “I already owned a business in downtown Ball Ground, and I had always loved the building where Scooped on Main now sits. When it came up for sale, I knew I had to buy it, even without a business plan in place. After I did some thinking, it dawned on me that an ice cream shop would be the perfect addition to downtown Ball Ground. One of my favorite memories was going to visit my grandmother in the summer, and we always went to get ice cream. Scooped on Main is a way for me to relive my best days and share that experience with others.”

What is your most exciting flavor?

“We feature Hershey ice creams, so we have many rich flavors to choose from. A popular choice with the kids who visit our shop is the Mystical Mermaid, a purple cupcake ice cream with blue icing and white chocolate. It is a very summery flavor choice,” Jill says. She adds, “You can make any flavor combination you’d like with the addition of our various toppings.”

Dulce Artisan Gelato

Owner, Arpad Repka

Dulce Artisan Gelato creates one-hundred-percent authentic Italian gelato,” reports owner Arpad Repka. “You get the same product here as you would when you walk the streets of Italy. Our techniques, machinery, and ingredients are top notch, and our gelatos are made fresh daily in small batches. I believe we are the only shop in Cherokee that makes and sells gelato on this scale.”

What is unique about gelato?

Compared to ice cream, authentic gelato uses more milk and less cream and generally doesn’t use egg yolks. Italian gelato includes about four to nine percent fat, much less than ice cream. It yields a denser and smoother texture, and it is served at a temperature fifteen degrees warmer than ice cream. Dulce Artisan Gelato offers many gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options as well.

What motivated you to start Dulce Artisan Gelato?

“We opened Dulce Artisan Gelato in 2018,” Arpad says. “Two years before that, our daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Because of her treatment, she got mouth sores a lot. Her doctors suggested giving her popsicles and sorbets, but I had also heard that ginger helps with mouth sores. I decided to create a ginger-flavored gelato that we could also get to other children with cancer. We broadened to serving all kinds of gelato products and continued to donate a portion of our proceeds to CURE Childhood Cancer.”

What is your most exciting flavor?

“Our lemon-lime basil sorbet is one flavor that people love during the summer,” Arpad reports. “It’s very light and refreshing.”

Sweet Joy Ice Cream Bar

Owner, Talia Mrozinski

“All our ice cream at Sweet Joy Ice Cream Bar is made onsite, fresh every day,” owner Talia Mrozinski says. “I also never scrimp on quality. The recipes are the same that my grandmother taught me when I was younger. Sweet Joy ice cream is also special in that the flavor of our ice cream is actually mixed into the base, not simply added in at the end. It means the ice cream will have the flavor throughout. You don’t have to wait until you get a bit of cookie to taste the full flavor of the ice cream.” One of the Sweet Joy specialties is its adult flavors of alcohol-infused ice cream.

How do you make alcohol-infused ice cream?

“I create flavor profiles that go together, and I add alcohol to the base of the ice cream,” explains Talia. “Our alcoholic flavors include Margarita, Rum Raisin, Honey Bourbon, and Crown Apple Pie.” The alcohol content is strong enough that customers must show their ID before they can buy.

What motivated you to start Sweet Joy?

Talia says, “The name Sweet Joy is an homage to my mother, Joyce, but I really started the business to honor both my mother and grandmother. I worked in project management for years, but I didn’t want to do it forever. I always wanted to try entrepreneurship. I love to create special ice cream flavors, and Sweet Joy has been the perfect business for me.”

What is your most exciting flavor?

“For our adult flavors, the Margarita is an unexpected twist in ice cream,” Talia shares. “It is boozy but sweet and a delicious way to enjoy a margarita. For regular flavors, Fruity Pebbles is one of the most exciting and bright. It’s kind of like eating a bowl of ice cream for breakfast.”



Owner, Tony Tortorici

Cupcakelicious owner Tony Tortorici proudly declares, “We are truly a mom-and-pop locally owned shop in the heart of Woodstock.” The sweet shop featuring cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate truffles, and other specialties. It crafts specialty cakes for all occasions as well. Its special brownie bowl stands out as one of its elite treats.

How do you make your special brownie bowl?

Tony says, “It starts with a Ghirardelli chocolate fudge brownie baked in the shape of a bowl, handmade by my wife. The Ghirardelli chocolate makes it extra decadent and rich. We warm the brownie bowl and fill it with your choice from sixteen ice cream flavors. Lastly we generously lather it with chocolate sauce.”

What motivated you to start an ice cream business?

“In 1994 when we purchased Cupcakelicious, it was primarily a cupcakery,” Tony recalls. “We added sixteen flavors of premium ice cream because what goes better with cupcakes and cakes than delicious ice cream? Greenwood Ice Cream, locally based in Brookhaven, is our exclusive supplier, because it makes the best small-batch ice cream in the South.”

What is your most exciting flavor?

“Our most exciting flavor depends on who is being served. Kids who visit our shop love Superman and Birthday Party flavors, while the adults tend to prefer classics like Butter Pecan, Coffee Almond Fudge, and Pralines and Cream. Another big seller is Mint Chocolate Chip. My favorite, however, is Strawberry, because it has large chunks of strawberry throughout that always taste fresh.”



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