TIMBERVILLE — It started with a trip to Florida, a love for ice cream and a car wash — three variables that made JJ’s Soft Serve come to life.
For the last 38 years, decadent smells of Hershey’s ice cream and buzzing from soft serve machines have occupied the space off McCauley Drive in Timberville. In one scoop, tastes of nostalgia can bring a customer back to the days of eating butter pecan ice cream on the steps of a grandparent's home, or remind how cotton candy ice cream tends to leave behind traces of blue everywhere.
It’s a sweet spot in Timberville and the only ice cream shop in town.
Opened in 1983, JJ’s Soft Serve was started by Jimmie Price, current owner JoAnn Campbell’s father.
Campbell said her father and grandfather frequently visited Florida and after coming back from one of their trips, they realized something.
“They realized [Florida] had a lot of ice cream places,” she said.
Price opened up shop the same year Campbell graduated from high school. After the store’s first season, Price died and Campbell took over the business.
“The business has grown so much,” she said. “People like it.”
With a handful of ice cream shops scattered across Rockingham County, JJ’s Soft Serve stands out with its variety of Hershey’s ice creams, soft serve and soft serve yogurt, as well as offering several sugar-free options.
By having Hershey’s ice cream available, the shop is able to provide nearly a dozen flavors for its customers, such as butter brittle crunch, moose tracks, chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cup.
If a standard cup or cone of ice cream doesn’t fit a customer’s fancy, JJ’s Soft Serve also offers milkshakes, banana splits, flurries and sundaes.
“We have a lot of different things,” Campbell said.
With 38 years of business under her belt, Campbell said her favorite part about running the business is the people.
“You get to know the people,” she said. “I know the same customers and what they like.”
For those who haven’t visited JJ’s Soft Serve, Campbell said she hopes people will stop by and give the shop a try.
“I’m hoping everybody gives us a shot,” she said.