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Ice cream shop celebrates 25 years of service

INWOOD (AP) — To passersbys — the few that don’t already know all about Jules of Inwood — it may seem like a typical ice cream stand, bright lights and colors, a giant cone on top of a box in a parking lot. But to many, including fans far and wide, it means much more, especially to the family that has owned the business since it’s inception 25 years ago.

The Dinchs’ four kids herding into the trailer like a second home, Samantha Dinch pointed to her oldest and laughed that she had been pregnant with her daughter and worked the stand the night before she was born.

“We both did,” Samantha said, looking at her husband with a smile. “I was super, super pregnant, and we worked that night, went home, got everything ready to have her the next day.”

Since Samantha’s grandparents began Jules over two decades ago, the stand has been a home to her, her family and her friends. It’s a place where relationships are built and memories are made.

The stand originally stood near what is now Heritage Hall, Samantha recalling the tales of the early years, from when she was a child. It’s located now along Gerrardstown Road, in the parking lot of a few storefronts, the bright lights and welcoming feeling calling to all who drive by.

“My grandfather had worked in the ice cream industry for a really long time, worked on people’s ice cream machines, traveled all over to fix ice cream machines,” she said. “My grandmother had an uncle, who was like a father figure to her, and he said for the longest time that once he retired, he wanted to open an ice cream shop just to keep him busy, something for him to do. He ended up passing away before he was able to do that. So they decided to open their own business, open an ice cream shop, and in his honor, they named it Jules. That’s where the name comes from. His name was Julius, and he was called Jules for short.

“I’ve basically grown up in it. My grandmother used to walk across the street to Musselman Middle to pick me up from school and take me back to the ice cream shop. I would do my homework there. I would eat dinner there. I’ve pretty much grown up in it my whole entire life.”

As Samantha grew up, her role in the business did, too, working the stand alongside her friends and, eventually, David Dinch, her now husband, the pair dating as teenagers. The couple graduated from Musselman and continued to work the stand, moving away for a brief period, before returning home — both to Inwood and Jules.

Now, Samantha and David own and operate the business, carrying on that family legacy her grandparents started all those years ago along U.S. 11.

“Last year, my grandparents decided that they wanted to retire. The plan was to eventually for us to own the business,” Samantha said. “That time came last year. They were just ready to retire. This our first year of fully owning it and doing it on our own.”

Looking to her four children, Samantha doesn’t take for granted the flexibility the stand allows, the opportunity to connect with her children in a place that once connected her to her grandparents.

“They’ve basically grown up in it,” she said. “Even now, they go and help me get stock. They go to the grocery store with me when we need to get stuff for here. They help out a lot. They enjoy it for the most part. It’ll help them get a good work ethic.”

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