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All-natural ice cream shop offers vintage atmosphere, unique flavors

Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

Life is sweet for Jenny Knebel and her daughter Sallie, owners of Sallie’s by the Shore Ice Cream. Since opening in 2015 in Rochester, they have quickly gained popularity for their all-natural ice cream, unique flavors, and vintage atmosphere, expanding now to four different locations.

Though Jenny and Sallie run it today, Jenny admits that owning an ice cream company was originally a dream of her husband.

“My husband’s family had been in the dairy business for a couple generations at least, and it was kind of always a dream of my husbands to make ice cream,” Jenny says.

His goal began coming to fruition during a blizzard a few years ago. As a high school teacher, Jenny was out of school because of the weather, and so she and her husband started watching videos on YouTube to learn how to make ice cream. Once it was decided that they would open a business, Jenny and Sallie traveled down to Florida to take classes and learn how to make the best ice cream. Initially planning to open in 2016, an instructor encouraged them to open shop sooner, saying that they were ready.

“[We] came back and got to it,” Jenny says, laughing. “I think we had eight or nine recipes the first summer, and we’re up to over 30 different flavors at this point.”

Guests are invited to try all sorts of flavors, ranging from the classic Oreo to fruity flavors like Sweet Georgia Peach and Key Lime Pie. Last year, they even featured an Indiana Sweet Corn flavor, with real corn, real butter, and real salt. Their newest flavor is Black Raspberry Chocolate.

Creating flavors with all real ingredients is a huge point of pride for Jenny and Sallie.

“We don’t use any artificial syrups or preservatives. For instance, the Key Lime Pie, everything that goes into a Key Lime Pie goes into the ice cream. We’re very close to gelato, and it’s the premium ingredients that put us over the top,” Jenny says. “We don’t take those shortcuts [that most other companies do]. We want the flavor to come through.”

Besides the great ice cream, people visit Sallie’s for the experience — with pop-up campers in Culver and Rochester, guests are transported back to the 1940s and 1950s.

“It’s neat to see the vintage pieces and appliances. Everything stimulates conversation between the older generation and the younger generation,” Jenny says. “The girls are more like actresses in a play. They all have the apron on and the polka dot headbands. So from beginning to end, they’re going to experience something that they won’t experience at any other ice cream shop.”

You can visit Sallie’s by the Shore at four different locations in Rochester, Winamac, and two Culver locations. The pop-up camper locations in Rochester and Culver are only open until shortly after Labor Day. For information regarding the various hours for different locations, you can visit them on Facebook under “Sallie’s by the Shore.”

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