5 questions with the owners of Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Jackson Township

Kelsey Davis
The Repository
  • Shawn and Andrea Brown opened Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Jackson Township in May 2022.
  • Bruster’s has nearly 200 independently owned locations in 22 states, Guyana and South Korea. This is the only Stark location.
  • Here they share more about the business.
Shawn and Andrea Brown are the owners of Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Jackson Township.

JACKSON TOWNSHIP − Jackson Township residents Shawn and Andrea Brown opened Bruster’s Real Ice Cream last May at 4609 Hills and Dales Road NW.

Bruster’s has nearly 200 independently owned locations in 22 states, Guyana and South Korea. This is the only Stark location.

Shawn, a GlenOak High School graduate, and Andrea, a Jackson High School graduate, answered when the opportunity knocked to open an ice cream shop.

I stopped in to see the operation and sample a few flavors. Word to the wise, try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye, which tastes exactly like homemade buckeyes. It reminded me of the ones my mom makes for Christmas. I was also pleased to see so many flavors and options. The shop has 25 to 30 flavors at all times, and there are a few non-dairy and sugar-free options available.

The shop, which is open from noon to 9 p.m. daily, offers a walk-up window as well as a drive-thru. DoorDash is available also.

Here I caught up with the owners to learn more about their ice cream venture.

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye flavor, shown on the left, is a popular flavor at Bruster's.

1. Why did you decide to get into the ice cream business?

“Opportunity knocked. While looking for business opportunities, we met a local entrepreneur who introduced us to the Bruster’s brand. Things fell into place, and we were able to move quickly on building the location and getting started with our exciting new endeavor.”

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2. What are your most popular items on the menu? Most popular flavors? Does the menu rotate at all?

“People love our waffle cones and bowls, which we make daily. We have some very popular sundaes that are unique, like our turtle sundae, hot fudge brownie sundae, and our banana split is amazing.” Every Thursday is bring-your-own banana and get half off a banana split.

“Our flavors change very frequently, but some of our staples and most popular are Southern Banana Puddin, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye.”

“We try to encourage our customers to sign up for our Favorite Flavor program, available in our award-winning Sweet Rewards program, so they can get notifications when we make their fave and they can stock up.”

Customers can check the Bruster’s app daily for flavors and can order online through the app. Bruster’s also updates its Facebook and Instagram accounts frequently.

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They make waffle cones daily at Bruster's Real Ice Cream.

3. After almost a year in business, what is the most important thing you have learned?

“It takes hard work and dedication to run any small business, especially being open seven days a week. We were lucky to find some fabulous employees to help us, which is so important. Our staff, our “Bru-Crew,” is a fantastic group of bright, hard-working and reliable young people that make this a fun and rewarding experience.”

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4. I see you do custom orders. How does that work?

“We take custom cake and pie orders, so people can choose their cake flavor, pie crust, ice cream flavors, etc. We decorate and personalize them. We just added mini pies to our menu, which has been fun too. We also have online ordering, which we have several regular customers who love that and have a regular weekly order of several quarts of their favorite flavor. We have also found that DoorDash has been very popular for customers, too.”

Mia Bleichrodt works the drive-thru window at Bruster's. Her favorite flavor of ice cream is Graham Central Station, a flavor packed full of graham cracker bits and chocolate.

5. What’s your favorite thing about owning an ice cream shop?

“Introducing Bruster’s Real Ice Cream to Stark County has been very rewarding. It’s more than just ice cream, it’s the ‘Bruster’s Experience.’ Seeing our customers enjoy our delicious high-quality ice cream that is made fresh onsite daily is so wonderful. We also love having the opportunity to help cultivate our young staff, since this is frequently a first job opportunity for them. We have been fortunate to have many great young people in our employ, and we get a lot of compliments on our terrific staff.”