Jack the Dipper opens July 1

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Jun 29, 2014
Photo by: Jessi Stone Jack the Dipper owners Dana Smith, left, and Tony Straut, stand next to their new location in the Waynesville Plaza.

Known for its warm waffle cones and a huge variety of flavors, Jack the Dipper is ready to open its newest ice cream shop in Waynesville.

Tuesday, July 1 will be opening day for Jack the Dipper in the former Nico’s Cafe building in the Waynesville Plaza, and owners Dana Smith and Tony Straut are excited to join a new community.

Jack the Dipper has been well established in Sylva near Western Carolina University since 1976, but Smith and Straut purchased the business in January 2013. Smith said they’ve been thinking about opening a Waynesville store but couldn’t find a good location.

But it just so happened that C.J. Deering of Waynesville was visiting the Sylva shop in April and pleaded her case for them to expand to Waynesville. Deering told them she had the perfect location since Nico’s had just closed and arranged for them to come look at the building.

“We’ve looked here before, but this time everything just came together,” Smith said.

It also worked out well for Deering, who has been hired as the daytime manager at the new Jack the Dipper.

Straut said he has hired about nine employees so far and is working to get them properly trained for the opening.

The new building is a little smaller than the Sylva location but after some fresh paint, new signs and a little renovation, the building will have the same fun feel as the original location. The walls have been painted a bright green and each table has a checkerboard.

Straut said he would be serving Blue Bell and Mayfield ice cream in 32 flavors in Waynesville.

“We’ve got the best hand-dipped ice cream around,” he said. “And of course we have the warm waffle ice cream cones in regular and cinnamon flavors.”

The most popular flavors in Sylva have been the extreme moose tracks, German chocolate and homemade vanilla — all of which will be available in Waynesville as well. Jack the Dipper also will offer dairy-free ice cream, no-sugar added ice cream, frozen yogurt, shakes, sundaes and banana splits.

“We try to make sure we have something for everybody,” Straut said.

Smith said he and Straut were looking forward to being a part of the community. In Sylva, they host many community fundraisers and expect to do the same here. They are especially interested in giving back to the schools and engaging young students.

In just a matter of months, the Waynesville Jack the Dipper Facebook page already has more than 900 followers — proving that Waynesville is excited about having the new business.

“From the few people I’ve met so far here, it seems like a great community to work with,” Straut said. “The best part about this business is interacting with the customers.”

Jack the Dipper will have a “soft” opening (no pun intended) on July 1 and will plan a grand opening celebration soon that may include an ice cream eating contest. The ice cream shop will be open in the summer from noon to 10 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit www.jackthedipper.com or follow them on Facebook.