Welcome to the Ice Cream Chronicles, a new recurring summertime series where we profile local shops that feed your cravings for ice cream and other cold confections. This week, we profile Schneider’s Sweet Shop.
BELLEVUE, Ky. -- In 2014, Schneider’s Sweet Shop celebrated 75 years of making homemade candies and ice creams, an amazing feat for the two-generation, family-owned business. Robert Schneider Sr. opened the shop in Bellevue in 1939, and in 1986 his son Jack and Jack’s wife, Kathy, took the reins.
Most of the year Schneider’s is known for its candies -- truffles, nonpareils, jars of gummy worms and Sour Patch Kids -- but during the summer, most of the business flips to ice cream.
“Our biggest thing is candy,” said owner Jack Schneider. “In summertime it’s almost all ice cream, and in the wintertime it’s almost all candy.”
Long days laboring over sweets
Jack Schneider is the only one who makes the candy and ice cream. In the winter he makes about 400-500 pounds of chocolates a day. Schneider’s also sells candies online and can ship them throughout the United States.
“It’s a lot of hours,” he said about running his own business. “People don’t realize how many hours you put into it.”
He said an average work week for him envelops 60-70 hours, and during holidays such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, he racks up 100 hours. But since the quality is so important to him, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Schneider’s offers 25 to 30 flavors of ice cream, including peach, coffee, chocolate chip (a best-seller), butter pecan, peanut butter, salted caramel and birthday cake, sherbets, and specializes in ice balls, which are basically gourmet Sno-cones with an ice cream center. Schneider’s filters the water so the ice will be purer, and makes all syrups from scratch, using no corn syrup.
Home-made for higher quality
“That’s the problem with a lot of places -- they buy pre-made syrups, and they’re OK,” he said. “But I want to make it good, I want to make it higher quality.”
You can get the ice creams in milkshake format, malts, in a house-made waffle cone and as a sundae, too.
With so many decades in business, nostalgia and memories of the past surround the place: a painted mural of Schneider’s smiling parents rest on the wall adjacent to the patio, and framed photos of Jack’s kids eating ice cream when they were little hang on the wall behind the ice cream cases.
Despite constantly working with confections, Jack still eats a lot of it: “I probably average a minimum of half a pound a candy a day, and if I’m making ice cream, I probably eat between a pint and a quart of ice cream a day.”
Luckily all of his laborious work burns those calories.
What would Robert Schneider Sr. think of the way his son runs his namesake?
“He’d probably tell me I’m nuts,” Jack said. “I got five years till I retire and what do I do? I double the size of everything. So he’s probably up in heaven laughing at me.”
Schneider’s Sweet Shop
Address: 420 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue
Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday
Prices: Ice balls $2.04-$6.50; ice cream scoops $2.69-$5.15
Contact: 859-431-3545, schneiderscandies.com