Notice: In observance of Juneteenth, all SBSI locations will be closed Wednesday, June 19th 2024. Normal business hours will resume Thursday, June 20th 2024.

For Local Business Owners, Ice Cream Serves as More Than a Sweet Treat

As a child, Jon Denton can still recall what it felt like to visit Dairy Joy in Biddeford. It started with a burst of excitement as he leapt into the car. He would gaze out the windows at familiar buildings and faces until they arrived at their destination.

As he sprang from the car onto the hot tar of the parking lot, his heart would skip a few beats as he scurried ahead and directly into line.

With wide eyes, he would gaze curiously at his menu options and fidget in anticipation. He couldn’t help the fact that ice cream was so delicious and his heart was so excited. He was young and everything felt vividly charged with endless possibilities.

He would toss around the idea of choosing one of the many flavors they had available; Caramel Chocolate Swirl, Cherry Garcia, Strawberry Cream. On days when the line was particularly long, he would let his mind drift away to the possibility of a banana split, and imagine all the ways in which it would be masterfully prepared for him and only him. 

Even now, he can still see the ice cream dripping down his fingertips before pooling in the spaces between each knuckle clenched tightly around the cone. 

Through the years, Jon’s overwhelming eagerness was replaced with a sense of familiarity. Getting ice cream became an understated ritual that marked many transitions from childhood to teenage life. Dairy Joy in particular became a casual hangout spot, where he and his best friend in High School would regularly meet after finishing their newspaper delivery route around town.

After graduation, Jon headed to New York City in search of a dream, and it was there that he met his sweetheart Jacqui DeFranca. Together, the two of them would frequent the local ice cream hotspots and share in sweetness their joy for the delicacy.
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It wasn’t long before they realized their favorite treat was too expensive in the city, and sometimes they felt that the flavors weren’t worth the cost. For fun, they decided to start making ice cream at their apartment together, leading them to new opportunities.

Jon had always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and it became apparent very quickly that perhaps he could turn his love of ice cream into a full-time endeavor. In a leap of faith, the duo decided to move back to Jon’s hometown, the place where he first fell in love with the simple pleasure of an ice cream cone.

And so unfolds the tale of Sweetcream Dairy, the beloved ice cream shop located on Main Street in Biddeford that Jon and Jacqui own and operate together.
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When deciding on what ice cream flavors to create, Jon channels his inner child and tries to recall what made the treat so sweet. His philosophy is simple and always the same: To maintain a concise list of ingredients and to capture the true essence of natural and unadulterated flavors. He rejects industrial additives like gums and emulsifiers, relies on local products and personally pasteurizes each and every blend.
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Like a mad scientist, Jon will sometimes spend days trying to craft the perfect recipe on paper, using mathematical models and scientific methods to achieve near-perfect results. Together with Jacqui, the two of them spend hours huddled over kitchen bowls, their hands laden with giant spoons. They experiment with carefully selected products such as berries sourced from local farmers’ markets, rich maple syrup tapped from Maine’s finest maple trees, fresh cream from Harris Farm in Dayton.
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Keeping the ingredients wholesome and local means a lot to Jon and Jacqui, and serves as the framework of their business model. But more than anything, their favorite part is seeing it all from the other side of the counter. 

From toddlers tumbling through the door to older individuals who take their time with walkers, the reactions of their patrons are always the same: Their eyes will widen, a smile will spread across their face, and the duo will be reminded once again that their reason for being is to make life a sweet experience for all.

To learn more about Sweetcream Dairy located in Biddeford, Maine, visit their website: https://www.sweetcreamdairy.com/icecream