Founded in 1996, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice has become a force in the frozen dessert market, building a passionate following across 32 locations. After 23 years of perfecting the brand, Jeremiah’s announced that it would aim to grow nationwide in 2019, and has since awarded 147 units to 58 franchisee groups—and an additional 6 area rep territories totaling 162 units—in just 18 months.
The brand was founded by current CEO Jeremy Litwack, whose passion for frozen treats began in high school. That passion grew after college, when he set out to develop his own techniques and recipes to create the most indulgent and refreshing Italian Ice product he possibly could. He moved to the Central Florida area with aims to leverage that product in a market previously unfamiliar with it, and succeeded in spades. He did it by focusing on a quality product and core values that persist to this day: cool, bold, vibrant, genuine, generous, and strategic.
One of the many people who fell in love with the brand and its product is Hayden Boyd, now a Jeremiah’s franchisee who opened a location in Ormond Beach, Florida in October 2020. Boyd was initially attracted to Jeremiah’s after weeks of driving by a store every day on the way to work and noticing there was always a line out the door.
“I first fell in love with the flavors,” Boyd says. “I loved their Scoop Froggy Frog—a minty flavor that is oh-so fresh—and then the next time I tried the strawberry flavor, and it brought me back to my childhood, eating fruity frozen treats at Disney. But it was also the service model and seeing people so excited to get their Jeremiah’s—I knew I wanted to someday be part of the brand.”
That brand loyalty is enhanced by a robust loyalty app that Devin Schneider, director of brand development, says “consistently exceeds industry benchmarks” in terms of adoption and participation. The digital connections built between the brand and its customers are only an extension of the ones that the brand has always strived to create as part of its core culture.
“Jeremiah’s is a people-first culture,” Schneider says. “We want to be that bright spot, that hangout spot that’s deeply ingrained in our communities and part of the everyday life of our guests, and that’s something we push when we train our employees on what our customer service looks like.”
Jeremiah’s “people-first” mentality is also displayed in its industry-leading employee retention rate—48 percent retention compared to the industry’s 25 percent.
The brand is the first to admit that it was tested by the pandemic, but its ability to pivot helped guide Jeremiah’s toward opening its 10 new franchise stores, awarding hundreds of new units, and remaining a beacon of refreshing normalcy for guests—positioning the brand to continue to be a household name all across the country.
“After we announced that we were franchising, the process since has been so humbling and emotionally powerful,” Schneider says. “We have met so many people who identified so strongly with our core culture and brand. Jeremy started all of this with a push cart in Philly—it’s been his baby, his passion—and we look forward to growing with our new franchise family that are so tightly aligned with his vision.”
To find out more about the coolest brand in Florida, visit jeremiahsfranchise.com.