Jake Rothschild might be my cousin from another dozen.
Both of us graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, several years apart, worked at the Daily Tar Heel while we were there and were journalism students back when the J-school was in Howell Hall. (It’s now the School of Media and Journalism, housed in Carroll Hall. Fancy.)
We both lived in the Charlotte area as kids (he was next door in Gastonia) and have memories of hand-cranked ice cream outside in the summertime. We discovered all this, serendipitously enough, while talking about his plan to invite longtime Atlantans to share their early memories of ice cream.
The founder of Jake’s Ice Cream at Irwin Street Market, located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood right on the Atlanta Beltline, he is interested in putting together an ice cream experience involving a tour that would illustrate how the sweet stuff is made and a hands-on tutorial. He’d like to include a video montage of Atlanta seniors sharing their early memories of enjoying ice cream back in the days when air conditioning was a novelty.
“It’s something that’s universal,” he said. “It brings people together. It touches on a childhood thing. There’s a lot of nostalgia.”
Rothschild moved to Atlanta after college and first opened a coffee shop in Virginia-Highland.
“I added ice cream and that eclipsed everything else we did,” he said. “We started realizing if we made really unusual flavors and made them really over the top, it would get people in.”
His current location opened in 2006 and serves dozens of flavors, including chocolate raspberry truffle, salted caramel, coffee toffee and “Oh Howard Peppermint,” inspired by his childhood affinity for Howard Johnson’s peppermint. His favorite is vanilla, but there’s nothing plain about it: The shop serves five different varieties.
“Atlanta’s an ice cream town,” Rothschild said. “We really have an ice cream scene here. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
He’d like to launch the tour around Christmastime, so is collecting stories now. Folks with memories of sipping drugstore or malt-shop ice cream sodas, waiting for the ice cream truck to rumble through or even chasing a yellow dog and bag of rags with an F.O. at the Varsity back in the day are invited to contact him.
Call 404-695-7755, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see jakesicecream.com. Who knows? Y’all might be practically kin, too.
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