Creative Creamery in Siler City is a bright, friendly gathering place for ice cream aficionados
By Brooke Spach | Photography by John Michael Simpson
Creative Creamery takes milkshakes to new heights – literally. Behold: A mason jar is packed with three scoops of Hershey’s ice cream, drizzled with syrup and stacked with anything from cookies or fruit to whole cinnamon buns or cheesecake slices. It’s then piled high with whipped cream and icing or Nutella and, finally, a scattering of sprinkles. These “stuffed shakes” lure ice cream lovers from across Chatham County and beyond.
The Siler City business started as most do – just a daydream. It’s something Jeff Edmisten and Lisa Edmisten would talk about when visiting Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor, their favorite sweet spot in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. The couple missed having a local place for frozen treats since PC’s Cool Place closed down a couple of years ago. Motivation took hold. Jeff, who owns computer repair company Creative Computers, dismantled and rebuilt a trailer that became their mobile store in 2019, completing the project in just four months.
Creative Creamery sold its first scoops that year when the ice-cream truck made its public debut at the town’s Spring Chicken Festival in May. In those early months, they served ice cream, shakes and a few sundaes. The Edmistens closed up shop in November and made an announcement in January 2020 via their Instagram account, @creativecreamery, that they would open a brick-and-mortar off U.S. Hwy 64.
Their daughter, Katelyn Edmisten, 26, is the marketing engine behind the business’s social media pages. She shared the news of the storefront’s grand opening, which took place March 14, just as businesses were first shut down due to COVID-19. The creamery stayed open several weeks for takeout only and reopened its dining room with reduced capacity that May.
Despite the pandemic, Creative Creamery has grown its fan base and number of flavors – first 24, then 36 and now 48. Jeff notes that during the summer they sell nearly 300 gallons of ice cream and an estimated 650 waffle cones per week.
“We can’t have any more [flavors] unless we knock down a wall,” Jeff says. Their success earned them Hershey’s Golden Scoop Award for “outstanding performance in the sale and promotion of Hershey’s premium ice-cream products” for the past two years.
Creative Creamery’s stuffed shakes really took off in 2021, “and the rest was history, as they say,” Jeff shares. The family opened a second location in Asheboro in May 2021.
“I’ve lived here all my life,” Jeff says. “I was born in the Chatham hospital that used to be downtown. [In Siler City], we don’t have a theater. We don’t have a bowling alley. We don’t have putt-putt courses. So a lot of people use this place to come and just hang out and enjoy their family.”
Date nights, family outings, after-school snacks – it’s hard not to bond over a delicious sweet treat. “We wanted somewhere for people to go and have a good time,” Lisa adds. “Somewhere for the community to be able to come together,” Katelyn chimes in. The Edmistens would like to eventually host movie nights on an inflatable projector in the Siler City shop’s parking lot.
“It takes a village, and we have some great employees,” Lisa says. Each location has around 8 to10 workers, many of them high school or college students. Customers will often approach Lisa or Katelyn just to compliment them on their helpful and friendly staff.
The Creative Creamery welcomes ideas and seasonal themes for stuffed shakes from friends, employees and ice cream fans. “We are only here because of our customers,” Katelyn says. “When I do social media, like [on National Ice Cream Day in July], I could’ve hyped up our ice cream and said all kinds of things about our shakes, but I pretty much said, ‘Happy National Ice Cream Day; we’re here because of you guys, so come celebrate with us.’”