Jax Favorites: Best Ice Cream Spots

Cool off this season with a cold treat! These are a handful of our favorite treats at some of our local ice cream spots. 

Cookies and Creme

This local gem offers a wide variety of ice cream flavors within walking distance from the beach. What started out as a crazy idea to make cookies and ice cream with cereal milk out of their garage, has now become a favorite of the beaches community and Jacksonville residents overall. Head on over for a Grom sandwich as you watch the cotton-candy sunsets near the Jax Beach pier!!!

Our favorite treats:
• X (Black Madagascar vanilla bean – previously #9)
• JSO (Krispy Kreme doughnuts & house blend coffee flavored ice cream)
• Bon Jovi (Cinnamon Toast Crunch)
• Jimi Hendrix (Blackberry ice cream w/ mini raspberry-filled cups)
• Unstuffed Oreo Grom (Cookie with a whole Oreo baked in the middle of it!)
• Wednesday Shake Night (Only day of the week they make shakes)

“Baking our beach a better place! We are a local, veteran and family owned LATE NIGHT cookie bakery in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.” 

The Hyppo

Looking for the greatest variety of popsicle flavors? Look no further! The Hyppo has been my go-to spot for a refreshing treat, whether it’s a dairy-free or creamy popsicle, this place hits the spot! 

Our favorite treats:
• Elvis
• Watermelon Basil
• Blackberry Cheesecake
• Hibiscus Pear
• King Street Horchata
• I-10 Plum

“We strive to provide authentic and uncommon culinary experiences. We craft foods with integrity and serve them up with our one-of-a-kind blend of welcome and whimsy. We enjoy making our foods, and we hope you find them delightful.”

Whit’s Frozen Custard

While this might not be originally from Jacksonville, FL it is a locally loved custard shop. Fun Fact: The one in Atlantic Beach was the first Whit’s location to open in Florida as well as the first to open outside of the state of Ohio as a whole. 

Our favorite treats:
• Kit Kats ‘n’ Creme
• Almond Joy
• White Chocolate Raspberry

“It’s this promise that sets us apart. Our flavors are made fresh on site. In addition to our signature Flavor of the Week, we also churn our Vanilla and Chocolate throughout the day.  Our many quality, fresh topping options lets you custom create your own unique flavor.”

The Yard Milkshake Bar 

Although it’s not native to Jacksonville, this new staple offers crazy sundaes and shakes that you can’t keep your cameras (or taste buds) away from! 

Our favorite treats:
• The Sunshine Bowl (Jacksonville Exclusive)
• Strawberries & Cream Cheesecake Milkshake
• Cappuccino Crunch Ice Cream
• Milk & Cookies Milkshake

“The Yard Milkshake Bar has the most delicious desserts in town. We offer premium ice cream and are widely known for our over-the-top milkshakes! We also offer eight flavors of edible cookie dough and over 50 topping options!”

Dreamette

Dreamette has quality ingredients available at an affordable price. Soft serve can sometimes be brushed aside, but Dreamette has obviously been doing it right for over 70 years. 

Our favorite treats:
• Soft serve strawberry twist
• Peanut Butter dipped cone
• Piña Colada shake

“Dreamette, a beloved Jacksonville tradition since 1948. Whether you’ve visited Dreamette since you were knee-high to a grasshopper or are the newest member of our Jacksonville community, Dreamette is here to serve up sweet treats to you and your family!”

Mayday

Go for the ice cream, stay for the enthusiastic employees and friendly environment.

Our favorite treats:
• The Aviator (Chocolate + Nutella + Biscoff cookies)
• Gillespie’s Bourbon Pecan (Butter Pecan w/ Buffalo Trace Bourbon)
• The Perfect Pear (21+ flavor: Fresh pears w/ a splash of Riesling)

“MAYDAY is named in honor of some innovative Americans who served our country in World War II. […] At Mayday we celebrate their courage and optimism by creating ice cream that’s both authentic and innovative- we churn together the best ingredients in fun new ways and serve them up with some good old-world hospitality. So whether the skies are sunny or stormy, just scream MAYDAY and join us for some life-changing ice cream.”

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Another favorite of the locals that isn’t necessarily local to Jacksonville… This place is well known for their Gelati (a perfect layered blend of soft-serve gelato and Italian shaved ice). 

Our favorite treats:
• Vanilla + Key West Tropical Gelati
• Chocolate + Banana Gelati
• Swirl + Cookies & Cream Gelati 

“Tasty Frozen Treats Served Up With A Smile. At Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, we deeply value our community and the relationships we are able to create with our neighbors. We strongly believe in giving back to our community and look forward to opportunities to reach out and connect with our wonderful communities. Over the years we have been honored to work hand-in-hand with schools, religious organizations, chambers, and charity organizations all in an effort to better our surrounding communities!”

Let us know what you think by tagging us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you get a chance to try one of these out. Keep up with the ‘JAX Favorites’ series and read some of our other blogs here.

Jacksonville Startup Hazlnut Raises $3 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate Growth

Hazlnut, a SaaS company that provides restaurants with their own branded apps and online ordering platforms, announced today that it has raised $3 million in a Series A funding round. Atlanta Ventures led the investment, along with PS27 Ventures Rhea Fund.

Jon Birdsong, a partner at Atlanta Ventures, said Hazlnut was the right company to invest in because, as soon as they crossed paths, “[Atlanta Ventures] immediately knew they were a team who obsesses over the customer, solves their gravest problems, and provides a preeminent user experience.”

Hazlnut is on a mission to help local, independent, and regional restaurant brands thrive. They do so by providing a software template for web-based, app, and in-store ordering solutions. The cost of hiring web and app developers is a greater investment than most restaurant owners can afford. Hazlnut offers development, onboarding and on-going support at an affordable monthly rate. 

The restaurant industry has proven to be tougher than ever for smaller brands thanks to the increasing competition, the rise of third party delivery providers who take a large chunk of every sale, and the overall complexity of managing multiple technology solutions. With Hazlnut, your local favorites can offer online and mobile ordering solutions, a full scale loyalty program, and Panera-like kiosks for guests who want an interactive menu with high resolution images and robust descriptions. 

“With software, if you can envision it, you can build it. We come in and help lift up small businesses to help them compete with bigger brands like Panera and McDonald’s. It’s rewarding seeing local businesses rise to the competition,” said Dick Sikes, Co-Founder and CEO of Hazlnut.

The company had previously closed a seed round funded by PS27 Ventures in 2018 of  less than $200,000. Jim Stallings, CEO of PS27 Ventures, is excited to see Hazlnut grow exponentially.

With this funding, Hazlnut is not wasting any time to grow aggressively. They are looking to fill key roles such as Head of Software Engineering, Sales Director, and Director of Marketing, as well as growing their sales, service, and engineering teams. 

About Hazlnut

Hazlnut is an all-in-one ordering solution that helps companies develop deeper relationships with their customers through beautifully designed websites and custom branded apps.

If you know a restaurant owner who is in need of an online ordering and loyalty solution, let us know! 

About Atlanta Ventures

Atlanta Ventures empowers entrepreneurs to start, grow, and scale.

Create Companies / We co-found companies via the Studio with driven founders in a collaborative environment

Fund Founders / We partner with companies seeking early stage funding

Equip Entrepreneurs / We provide content, tools, and events to empower the startup community

About PS27 Ventures

PS27 Ventures invests in early-stage companies that are driving dramatic changes in high-growth markets. ​​We invest in early stage startup ideas and businesses, supporting their growth with a broad range of expertise from a team of highly regarded professionals. Bringing selected startups into our accelerator, we work side by side with them to grow their business and help them realize their true potential. 

Our team of experts takes a hands-on approach, helping startups succeed. 

About the Rhea Fund

The PS27 Rhea Fund is a 20 million dollar venture capital fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Rhea Fund is seeking to invest in early-stage solutions in SaaS, HealthTech, FinTech, Sustainability, and E-Commerce companies that can scale rapidly. Rhea Fund also has an interest in founders who are women, veterans, and people of color.  

For more information about the Rhea Fund please email us at info@ps27ventures.com.

Supporting Our Local Jacksonville Community at Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Hazlnut Provides a Large-Scale Contactless Experience at the 2021 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Venture-backed software company, Hazlnut, is bringing a contactless experience to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival for Premium Experience VIP packages from Oct. 1 – Oct. 3, 2021. Premium Experience VIP packages will include a wristband credential with a unique QR code that is connected to their festival account varying from $50 to $200 food and beverage credits for the weekend. 

The team over at Hazlnut is led by co-founders Dick Sikes and Steven Edwards, Jacksonville natives and previous guests of the festival.

“As jazz fans who have attended the Jacksonville Jazz Festival over the years, we’re always open to possibilities to give back to the City of Jacksonville,” said Dick Sikes, CEO at Hazlnut. “At Hazlnut, we are passionate about creating solutions for the food and beverage industry, but we are also passionate about the Jacksonville community. Our team will be on-site during the event to answer questions and enhance the festival experience.”

About Hazlnut

Hazlnut is a Jacksonville-based software company founded by childhood best friends. Hazlnut offers white-labeled, turn-key solutions to small-to-medium-sized restaurants to help them compete against larger chains that play on a national level. They seek to bring the latest technology into the restaurants, constantly working to improve the ordering experience for both the customers and business owners alike.

About the Jacksonville Jazz Festival

The festival is a free, multi-day music festival produced by the City of Jacksonville Division of Sports and Entertainment. The festival welcomes residents and visitors to enjoy live music performances, food, drinks, and activations throughout the weekend in Downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival includes two stages of great music, Piano Competition, Sacred Jazz Brunch, Jazz Marketplace, Jazz Clinic, and more. For updates and information, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com.

jacksonville jazz festival

Jax Favorites: Best Brunch Spots

Summertime is almost here, and there’s no better way to enjoy the sunshine than brunch! Check out these local spots for our favorite foods and some of the absolute best drinks & brunch cocktails! 

Canopy Road Cafe

This local gem offers an incredible menu filled with options for a wide variety of visitors. 

Our favorite foods:
• Southern Benedict
• Mutt’s Breakfast Club
• Fat Elvis Pancakes
• Palm Beach Club

Best drinks:
• Canopy Road Coffee (Lucky Goat Coffee Co.)
• Arnold Palmer
• Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

“Here at Canopy, we always say we have something for everyone. We specialize in taking traditional diner favorites and adding our own little twists. The results are both exciting and delicious – see for yourself!”

Casa Marina

Looking for a brunch spot to visit before hitting the beach? Look no further! This hotel offers indoor and outdoor seating for brunch exclusively on Sundays. The back door leads directly to the sand!

Our favorite foods:
• Beignets
• Breakfast Burrito
• Shrimp & Sweet Hash

Best drinks:
• Watermelon-Rosemary Mimosa
• The Ultimate Bloody
• Espresso White Russian

“For twenty years, The Casa Marina Sunday Brunch continues to receive dining awards for its marvelous classic dishes, local seafood and house-made desserts.”

The French Pantry

The line out the door is a clear indicator of how incredible their food is! Believe me, it’s worth the wait…

Our favorite foods:
• French Dips
• Portobello & Mozzarella Bruschetta
• Blueberry Farmers Tart
• Cheese Danish

“The French Pantry can trace its iconic Northeast Florida roots more than 20 years, and since then, not much has changed. Our food has a cult following, and our breads and pastries are sought after by restaurants around the region.”

River & Post

This rooftop restaurant located in Downtown Jax along the St. John’s will treat you to some of the best views. 

Our favorite foods:
• Bread Pudding French Toast
• Eggs Benedict Cubano
• Stuffed Mushrooms

Best drinks:
• Florida Georgia Line
• R&P Bloody Mary
• Bourbon & Berries

“River & Post is a culinary driven restaurant in a warm, modern setting where we strive to captivate our guests with quality ingredients, impeccable service and memorable accommodations for any occasion.”

Johnny’s Angels

If you’re looking to travel back in time, this diner is the place for you! As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the 1950s aesthetic, the best shakes in town, and other American classics. 

Our favorite foods:
• The Thunderbird
• Breakfast at Tiffany’s
• The Elvis Special
• The Richie Cunningham

Best drinks:
• Oreo Shake
• Creamsicle
• Malts

“Enjoy our homemade burgers, hand-dipped shakes, and scrumptious sandwiches, all served by our friendly staff.”

Delicomb

Unique bagel sandwiches are their specialty, with a new one almost every week! Sit back and relax at this beautiful little shop within walking distance to the beach.

Our favorite food:
• Açaí Bowl
• Sunshine Bagel
• Del Fuego Special

Best drinks:
• Café Au Lait
• Dirty Chai
• Granita 

“Delicomb is locally owned and operated. We make it how we’d want it! Delicombilicious.”

Let us know what you think by tagging us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you get a chance to try one of these out. Keep up with the ‘JAX Favorites’ series and read some of our other blogs here.