Sporting a pink and baby blue manicure almost as colorful as her shop, Debi Yorke scoops homemade ice cream out of tubs each and every day at Juke N Jive Creamery in Braselton.
The ice cream shop, tucked behind Jeffrey's Sports Grill just off Old Winder Highway, serves 50 different flavors of ice cream — regular and “adult” — each made in-house by Yorke and her husband, Russ, owners of the business.
“It’s always been in my family,” Debi Yorke said of making ice cream. “That’s basically how I’ve been raised.”
She remembers her great aunt and uncle, Fredora and Art Huntington, owning an old-fashioned sweet shop in the mid-1960s that sold ice cream, candy and soda. She remembers her parents always making ice cream for different gatherings at church and every party on the block, too.
So after a life in the restaurant business, Debi Yorke decided it was time to try something new.
After moving to Braselton from Dacula, and having her parents move in so she and her husband could help take care of them, she knew they needed an avenue for additional income.
The solution came in the form of tubs filled with creamy goodness.
“We did some research and there were no ice cream stores in the area,” Debi Yorke said. “And we have something very different here. Everyone loves our atmosphere.”
The colorful shop takes guests back to the 1950s and 1960s. It’s loosely modeled after Arnold’s Drive-In from the TV show “Happy Days.” There are bright blues and pinks throughout, booths lining the walls, old-fashioned decor, stools at the counter and a jukebox.
Jada and Cory Bradford stopped by with their three children for their first time after reading reviews online. They tasted flavors at the counter and after they all decided, each one took a seat in a booth while Jada Bradford chose a song on the jukebox.
“It’s a perfect day for ice cream,” Jada Bradford said, holding a cone with mint chocolate chip. “We just moved so this was our first time, but we’ll be back … We will definitely be back a lot.”
But before the ice cream shop came to be, the Yorkes had to travel to Florida to make sure they had the proper equipment to ensure the quality that wanted from the creamery.
“I said, ‘I’m not going to buy an ice cream machine if I don’t know what the ice cream that comes out of it tastes like,’” Debi Yorke said.
So they made their way south on an ice cream-tasting trip that, lucky for them, was all business.
After she and her husband learned about the machine and were happy with the product, they packed things up, headed back to Braselton and began work on a business plan.
Almost two years later, Debi Yorke and her husband are coming up with all sorts of ice cream flavors to blend through their tried-and-true machine.
“I have no problem coming up with flavors and being creative,” Debi Yorke said. “It’s fun doing it and I’ve got it down pat now.”
They have everything from birthday cake to chocolate velvet, which is made with Nutella. There are classics like cookie dough and mint chocolate chip, which is Debi Yorke's favorite.
But there are more interesting flavors like lavender honey and vanilla raspberry truffle. Don’t forget about those adult flavors, though: rum raisin, bourbon salted caramel, mango margarita and more, all of which are made with a bit of booze.
Debi Yorke said “you won’t get a buzz,” from the ice cream. That’s “not the point,” she added. Yorke said they make the ice cream with alcohol because it compliments the flavors so well.
By now, she’s an expert at coming up with flavors. Sometimes, she comes up with ideas because she thinks it will taste good, other times it’s just because she’s impatient.
That’s where the chocolate peanut butter cookie dough idea came from,.
“Everything that comes up on my Facebook is about ice cream,” Debi Yorke said. “Blue Bell was coming out with a chocolate peanut butter cookie dough and it said it was out in the market. I called and couldn’t find it anywhere. I said, ‘I’m not waiting on them, I can do this.’”
And now, you can purchase the flavor at the shop.
“We just try to keep everything fresh and new and do things our competition can’t do,” Debi Yorke said.