Navarre, Fla. (March 1, 2023) Tom Kennedy’s first taste of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is an experience he’ll never forget. In 2002, he had taken his two daughters, Trina and Alyssa, to a UCF game in Orlando and afterward, went out for ice cream. From that point on, it became a tradition.
“I had season tickets to UCF football and would take my two teenage daughters,” said Kennedy. “We had so many great memories at Jeremiah’s — it became something we did after every game. In fact, after a while, Jeremiah’s became the destination and the game came second.”
As time moved on, his daughters grew up and went away to college, life got busy and the trips to Jeremiah’s became more infrequent.
It was almost 17 years later, in 2019, Kennedy and his wife went to Orlando to have Thanksgiving with their now grown-up daughter. For old times’ sake, they decided to go to Jeremiah’s and that’s when he saw a small sign advertising Jeremiah’s Italian Ice franchises.
“Being in Jeremiah’s brought back so many great memories with my girls,” said Kennedy. “When I saw the franchise sign something just clicked — I knew I had to share Jeremiah’s with others — everyone could have this great feeling and these great memories.”
At the time Kennedy owned a construction company that was doing very well, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Jeremiah’s.
“I couldn’t get it out of my head so I called the Corporate office, which is right there in Orlando,” said Kennedy. “I told them my story — then went through a very rigorous process to be selected as a franchisee. And at the same time I was pursuing this, my daughter Trina had selected Jeremiah’s to cater her wedding desserts — I had no idea. By the time the wedding came around, I was attending the wedding as father-of-the-bride and official Jeremiah’s Italian Ice franchisee — to see that truck roll up to the venue was special for all of us — it’s like everything was coming together — it was meant to be.”
There was one catch. Jeremiah’s Italian Ice wanted Kennedy to assume the Gulf Coast franchise stretching from Navarre to Pensacola, Florida, which was far away from his home in Tampa.
“It was a big leap of faith moving to this area but we trusted the Jeremiah’s model,” said Kennedy. “And now that we’ve been here for a year and a half, we know we’re home. We love it, it’s the best of Old Florida with a touch of the new – a beach community that brought back memories of my childhood — small-town friends, family and the coast. It’s real Florida.”
Jeremiah’s is scheduled to open March 7 at 11 a.m. Kennedy is putting finishing touches on his store which is located in the Shoppes at Navarre in the Publix shopping center.
“Jeremiah’s philosophy is total immersion into the community,” said Kennedy. “We plan on being very involved and giving back — that’s what a good community partner does. We’ve already met so many wonderful people and can’t wait to open so we can begin serving the community and put some smiles on faces.”
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice serves three types of confections: traditional soft ice cream, Italian ice and Jeremiah’s calls Gelati. Kennedy is quick to point out that Gelati has an “i” on the end and is very different from the sound alike dessert, gelat-o.
“Gelati is a very special layering of Italian Ice and soft ice cream,” said Kennedy. “It’s delicious and you get it the way you want it — with 41 flavors of Italian Ice, you can design your perfect dessert.
“We’re so thankful and blessed to be a part of this community,” said Kennedy, “and we’re excited about growing with Navarre.”
About Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
Founded in 1996, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice has come to be known not only for its superior frozen treats, but also its outstanding customer service, community involvement, and an exciting brand image that exudes the Jeremiah’s motto – LIVE LIFE TO THE COOLEST®. Focused on delivering flavorful experiences to each and every guest, Jeremiah’s is committed to serving its vibrant, flavorful treats up with a smile in a lively environment. With more than 100 locations throughout Florida, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas. For more information about Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, visit https://jeremiahsice.com/