Smitty’s Ice Cream has become stiff competition for local dessert shops to beat.
The shop’s variety of flavors, inexpensive prices and convenient location make Smitty’s a popular spot for sweet treats among Elon students right next to campus.
Smitty’s has been in downtown Elon since 2012, sharing a storefront with popular pizza parlor Pandora’s Pies.
Haley Rupp, Elon junior and assistant manager at Smitty’s, has been working at the shop since the spring of 2018. She believes that the shared-shop setup is partially a contributor to Smitty’s success with students.
“I think it helps just being in the same location because the natural flow of people eating pizza and then being like, ‘Oh, well what about dessert?’,” Rupp said. “Especially for students, it’s just easy to pick up pizza and then get ice cream on the way out.”
Smitty’s has a set list of regular flavors that are the most popular among customers — Oreo, Chocolate, Cake Batter, Amaretto Cherry Chip and others. There are also seasonal flavors, such as Pumpkin Pie in the fall or Winter Mint during the holidays.
Rupp said the staff at Smitty’s tries to excite a variety of taste buds when creating new flavors.
“My boss definitely tries to make flavors that interest everyone,” Rupp said. “Chicken and Waffles [ice cream] is weird, but people want to try it.”
Smitty’s opened its first location in 2002 in downtown Burlington. Today, all of Smitty’s flavors are made locally at their creamery in Graham. With three locations — Burlington, Graham and downtown Elon — it has continued to expand throughout Alamance County since its beginnings.
Smitty’s also serves much of the local Elon and Burlington community. Rupp said that many locals come and eat on weekends at Pandora’s Pies and enjoy Smitty’s ice cream after.
“Not only is the ice cream really good and it’s homemade, I feel like all the employees just want to serve people,” Rupp said. “It’s a friendly place. We love the students, and it’s just good ice cream.”