Treat yourself to something sweet at American Ice Cream

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.

It is an old saying most people are familiar with and one that American Ice Cream in Jackson has thrived on.

American Ice Cream, operated by Jim Thompson, has been in business for 52 years. Before its name change two years ago, it was a Dairy Queen. Over the years, Thompson witnessed many changes in the ice cream business.

When "I purchased the business I was 24 years old," he said. "I remember selling 5- and 10-cent cones."

Before the drive-up window was added, customers ordered from two windows at the front of the building. Thompson said the drive-up window greatly increased business.

"In 1983 we added a drive-up window and business increased about 60 to 70 percent," Thompson said.

The ice cream treats have changed over the years as well. In the mid-1980s Dairy Queen introduced the Blizzard. American Ice Cream serves concretes, which are similar to a Blizzard.

Frozen lattes are another new popular treat. American Ice Cream offers several flavors including caramel, French vanilla, hazelnut, mint mocha and mocha.

Because many ice cream consumers are becoming more health conscious, all treats at American Ice Cream are available in frozen yogurt.

The treats, the building and the names may have changed, but some things always stay the same.

"There has been very little change in the sizes of standard items such as ice cream cones," Thompson said.

American Ice Cream offers a variety of newer menu items while continuing to serve the traditional ice cream treats such as cones, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, dilly bars and shakes.

The ice cream shop is a local gathering place during the summer, especially after softball games. During the school year, teens enjoy gathering after school. Before Jackson High school's campus closed, students often lunched there as well.

Although the business is only open seasonally, Thompson said American Ice Cream still does a lot of business.

"We are able to compete with the other ice cream shops because our product is good and our prices are lower," he said. American Ice Cream closes around Thanksgiving and reopens in March each year.

American Ice Cream is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

American Ice Cream

221 S Hope St., Jackson


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