Jeremiah’s celebrates a year of cool in QC

Mark and Becky Leonard own the popular Jeremiah’s Italian Ice shop in Queen Creek. (Facebook)

One year later, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is helping Queen Creek live life to the coolest.

The ice cream shop celebrated its one-year anniversary in Queen Creek in June.

Franchisees Mark and Becky Leonard said the journey to this point has included times that’s ranged from fun to busy to crazy.

But the couple said they love to watch families come in and celebrate graduations, weddings, proposals, and that’s has made it “absolutely fulfilling” to them.

“It’s just fun to see everyone celebrate and have fun and connect and have a place that is refreshing,” Mark said.

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is the brainchild of Jeremy Litwack, who opened his first shop in Winter Park, Florida in 1996.

Since then, it’s expanded to 71 locations across the country with most of those in Florida alone. Today, they have three shops in the East Valley and one opening soon in Tucson.

Italian Ice is lighter than ice cream, yet smoother, thicker, and creamier than shaved ice, often called water ice to those in the Northeast.

The Leonards said they have more than 40 flavors on their menu that are made fresh in their shop with a couple dozen on hand at any given time.

The “fully-infused flavor experience” has remained a staple to any visitors that would deplane in their former home of Orlando, Florida.

Then, five years ago, the couple decided to pack up move to Arizona with their children and realized Jeremiah’s selection was the missing piece for the community.

“We just really wanted to share it with everyone around here because it is truly a refreshing treat,” Mark said.

Today, they have 21 employees ranging in age from 16-20 who the couple said serve as incredible leaders that are eager to learn, eager to serve, and the best of the best that they could find.

“I’ve no idea what parents are feeding these kids in Queen Creek, but they are absolutely phenomenal,” Mark said.

The shop has traditional soft-serve ice cream in a vanilla, chocolate and swirl, or you can try their Gelati—“the perfect layering of Italian Ice & Soft Ice Cream.”

Like most businesses today, supply chain issues have forced them to raise prices but they said their customers remain very supportive and understanding.

They said their flavors vary with the season and can include root beer and mango margarita in the summer, and gingerbread, pumpkin pie, candy canes, and spicy hot chocolate in the winter.

“Year-round, people love our tropical flavors,” Becky said.

Mark said it’s especially fun to see customers exude their mantra “live life to the coolest” when they enter the shop.

Customers can find special for the shop on the “J-List Rewards” app that offers members-only discounts, free tasty frozen treats, and the ability to earn sweet rewards on your purchases, according to their website.

The Leonards said they also enjoy serving the community and helping out various groups.

They’ve partnered with 15 schools in the area and in February they handed out more than 13,500 coupons to students.

Becky said a teacher at American Leadership Academy Signal Butte had told her about how their coupons helped revive the school’s reading program.

When the students read enough books and filled out their reading lists, they received a free small item from the shop.

“Giving those coupons to them had made all the difference for kids learning and growing,” Becky said.

She said they’ve helped a variety of other organizations especially those that have a harder time raising funds such as band, swimming, choir, and track and field.

She said “being able to partner with them and generate excitement for raising funds for their programs that are a little bit harder to normally raise funds for is really, really awesome.”

Information: 20784 E. Victoria Lane; 480-268-7793