A Mobile County classic will soon have a location in Baldwin County. Cammie's Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe will open a Fairhope location this spring. Camilla "Cammie" Wayne grew up in Mobile. Her first …
A Mobile County classic will soon have a location in Baldwin County.
Cammie's Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe will open a Fairhope location this spring.
Camilla "Cammie" Wayne grew up in Mobile. Her first job was scooping ice cream at Widemire's Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe in Mobile, a business that opened in 1969 by Edwin Woodmire.
Wayne never set out to be an ice cream shop owner. The opportunity presented itself at the right moment when she stopped in to show her two small children where she worked her first job and to get some ice cream.
"Mr. Widemire was sitting at the counter, and I asked him when he was going to retire. He said he was looking for a buyer now. I said I'll look at it," Wayne said. "My father-in-law at the time left us some money, and I had a little bit put aside. I said I'll buy it, and he wanted to interview me."
After promising the business would always only serve ice cream, that she would never sell food and agreeing to other stipulations, Wayne became the new owner of an iconic business.
"I bought it. I had two children I had to raise, and I was broke," Wayne said. "I could not fail."
When she purchased the business, the ice cream was made for Widemire's by Dairy Fresh, but 11 years in they notified her they were stopping their ice cream production. Wayne said she wanted to provide her customers with a product they couldn't get anywhere else, so she started making the ice cream herself out of necessity.
"My customers loved it, and then ice cream shops started asking me to make theirs," Wayne said. "When you are broke, you don't say no. You find a way."
Now 25 years into the business, Cammie's has grown to include a creamery where all the ice cream is made for the Old Shell Road location and the shop in front of the creamery on Halls Mill Road in Mobile. Cammie's also sells some of their flavors in Piggly Wiggly and Greer's grocery stores and makes unique flavors for 25 ice cream shops locally and as far away as Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and some shops in Tennessee.
Business in Mobile is booming. Wayne said she did not have intentions of expanding, but, much like her purchase of Widemire's, the opportunity presented itself.
Wayne's husband, Larry, is a Fairhope native and had a tradition of eating breakfast with his father at Biscuit King on his days off. When Wayne learned Biscuit King was closing, she suggested they go for a final breakfast. During that breakfast, she started to see the potential of the location.
A week later, the two were back at Biscuit King negotiating terms with Nancy and Wille Foster (owners of Biscuit King). That was four or so months ago.
The crew has been busy on the interior of the building on County Road 24 just south of Fairhope. The interior has been cleaned up and painted, but there is still a lot more work to be done. The vision for the location will take guests back in time.
"It will be an old fashion ice cream shop. There will be a soda fountain that is from the 1930s where we will have our ice cream. I am going to have a counter with a marble top, and we will have 47 to 50 flavors of ice cream," Wayne said. "We will do table service where your banana split is served in a glass dish and your milkshake will have the can and the glass to go with it."
Parents will be excited to learn the shop will host birthday parties with make-your-own sundaes. Wayne said they are a hit in Mobile, but she is limited on the days and times she can offer them due to limited parking.
That won't be an issue at the Fairhope location. She has 2 acres to play with.
Wayne has heard the negative chatter regarding the location. Commenters on social media feel the location is a poor choice, but she feels differently.
"People will come to your place if you give them good service and a good quality product at a reasonable price," Wayne said. "That is what I plan to do."
She has seen how being a destination location can change an area. When she purchased the original business, there was very little around her location. In the last 10 years, that has changed. While County Road 24 is considered the outskirts of Fairhope, it is an area seeing rapid growth.
"When a lot of people think Fairhope, they think of the downtown area. Fairhope is a lot bigger," Wayne said. "I want everybody to come to my ice cream shop from all over and not just a certain group of people."
Wayne does not have a date set for the opening but is hopeful to see the location open by the end of March.
Cammie's Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe – Fairhope is at 9555 County Road 24, Fairhope. If you would like to get a head start trying the 50 flavors, head to 2511 Old Shell Road or 4380 Halls Mill Road Mobile locations in Mobile.