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‘The Chick-fil-A of ice cream’: Clemson to welcome new ice cream franchise

Justin Robertson
A new ice cream store is coming to downtown Clemson. Handel’s offers over 100 different ice cream flavors, as well as sorbets and other frozen treats.

Clemson locals with a sweet tooth will soon be able to try over 100 different ice cream flavors when a new ice cream shop opens in downtown Clemson next month.

A Handel’s Ice Cream franchise is set to open at 391 College Ave. 103, between Poke Star and Moe’s, after signage for the shop went up on Jan. 5. With the store still under construction, Jim Belcher, the franchiser, is tentatively expecting to open the store on Feb. 8, he told The Tiger in a phone interview.

Founded in Youngstown, Ohio, Handel’s has 115 other locations across the country and offers a wide variety of ice cream flavors, including Bananas Foster, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Spouse Like A House, a malted vanilla ice cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter ripple and chocolate-covered pretzels. The store will also offer sorbets, sherbets and ices.

While he and his family have not finalized the store’s hours of operation, Belcher, a Greenville resident, said the store could be open noon-10 p.m. during the week and noon-11 p.m. on the weekend.

Belcher and his family moved from California to South Carolina about a year ago. Belcher’s two daughters worked for a Handel’s store in California and had a great experience, he said. Their experience, along with a vision to keep the family together for years to come, inspired Belcher to open the first Handel’s in South Carolina.

In Belcher’s mind, Handel’s is the “Chick-fil-A of ice cream” because of the positive work environment and leadership development it offers to employees.

“To me, this is the perfect place to put the first one because so many people from South Carolina come to Clemson, and then they spread out all across the state, so it’s a great place to introduce it,” Belcher said.

Belcher added that the influx of people coming into town for Clemson football game days “will be huge” for business.

Handel’s will have to compete with Spill The Beans, located on North Clemson Avenue, and ‘55 Exchange, located in the Hendrix Student Center, as the primary ice cream stores in the area.

The ice cream shop is taking the space that Advantage Property Management used to occupy.

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Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
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