Franchisee Hayden Boyd said he is ready to bring 'good memories and a flavorful experience' to the residents.
The first Jeremiah's Italian Ice gelati flavor 21-year-old Hayden Boyd tried was strawberry.
One taste made him reminisce about his trip to Disney. He recalled sitting on a bench in Magic Kingdom and eating a strawberry popsicle.
“The moment I tasted a Jeremiah’s strawberry gelati, it reminded me of that memory," Boyd said. "It reminded me of that happy childhood and everything else that went along with it.”
Then, he started seeing others having similar experiences when trying the franchise's ice cream. Now, he and his two partners, Glenn and Bryan Repple, are opening their first Jeremiah's Italian Ice location in Ormond Beach at 162 S. Nova Road, in the former's Little Caesar's building. Doors will open at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and Boyd is ready to bring "good memories and a flavorful experience" to the locals.
The Ormond Beach location, complete with a drive-thru, is one of three that Boyd and his partners plan to open in Volusia. The other two are planned to be located in New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange. Originally from Columbus, Georgia, Boyd said he considers himself a small-town boy at heart, and that when they were searching for towns to open up shop in, they felt these cities would fit in well with both the Jeremiah's Italian Ice brand.
Boyd moved to Ormond Beach in February. The new store has a mural paying tribute to Ormond Beach history inside its dining room.
“You can’t say you’re for the community or anything like that unless you are part of the community," he said.
At 21, he is the youngest franchisee in the company. Boyd became familiar with Jeremiah's through his former employment managing for Spectra Food and Beverage at the University of Central Florida. Part of his job was to bring in local brands to sell food at the university's stadium during games, and having noticed the strong following for Jeremiah's in Orlando, he reached out and created a working relationship with the brand.
That's when he fell in love with the brand's mission, which he said invests and presents opportunities for their staff and community.
“Hayden, Glenn, and Bryan embody what it means to be a part of the Jeremiah’s family,” said Jeremy Litwack, founder of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, in a press release. “Their excitement to give back to the community and serve as mentors to their employees makes us confident that they are going to be strong leaders in the Ormond Beach community. We can’t wait to see all of the amazing things they do as they introduce our concept to the area.”
Opening a new business during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't easy. Boyd said they originally planned to open back in June, but that they held off until it was safer to do so. He hopes in the future, they'll be able to host fundraisers and spirit nights for local causes.
“It’s definitely had its challenges, but the motivation and the push is to give back to the community and give back to people," Boyd said.