“We don’t do plain chocolate and vanilla,” says Jake’s Ice Cream co-owner Shea Daniels. Photo by Kerri Phox/The Atlanta Voice

Very few things are as cool as a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day in Atlanta. Jake’s Ice Cream, with locations on the Atlanta Beltline and in Hapeville, offers its customers some of the most interesting flavors around. From Chocolate Slap Your Mama to Coffee & Donuts to Brown Shugah Vanilla, a vanilla ice cream made with brown sugar, there is something for ice cream fans to enjoy. 

“We don’t do plain chocolate and vanilla,” said co-owner Shea Daniels.

Jake’s Ice Cream recently expanded to a second location in Hapeville, hosting its grand opening on Juneteenth weekend. Daniels, a Florida native who has lived in Atlanta for nearly 30 years, believes Hapeville has been a solid investment.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better reception from the city,” Daniels told The Atlanta Voice recently. She added that local business owners have been some of their best customers so far. “It has been a great experience.”

The Hapeville location, which opened in June, is in what was once a candy shop, says Daniels. Despite the sweet serendipity, Daniels and her partner, the company’s namesake, thought Hapeville would be a perfect location for their latest venture because, “it was in an ice cream dessert,” she explained.

Jake’s Ice Cream counter. Photo by Kerri Phox/The Atlanta Voice

“We had been trying for years to get into that space,” said Daniels, who bought into the business in 2013 after years as an event planner. “I wasn’t quite ready to stop working and nobody gets angry when they are eating ice cream.”

Daniels’ event planning experience has come in handy as Jake’s Ice Cream hosts events, including children’s birthday parties where the birthday boy or girl gets to plan the ice cream menu. Sometimes they can invent their own flavor of ice cream. Daniels says all of the ice cream at Jake’s is homemade. Jake taught her how to make ice cream when she came aboard and these days she likes to create original flavors such as sweet potato pie ice cream when there’s time. “One day I had some sweet potatoes leftover and decided to try it,” she said. 

Daniels said being a Black ice cream parlor owner isn’t always easy, but what she wants most is for “the opportunity to show people what we’re made of. Sometimes if people know you are a Black-owned business they don’t want to give you a chance.”

Daniels in front of the Irwin Street location on the Atlanta Beltline. Photo by Kerri Phox/The Atlanta Voice

With plenty of hot days in August and September coming up, Jake’s Ice Cream and the many sorbets, piescreams, gluten-free, speciality and novelty flavors they have should be worth a try.

Jake’s Ice Cream is located at 660 Irwin Street, NE on the Atlanta Beltline and at 755 Virginia Avenue in the heart of Hapeville.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...