Ricky McKnight worked for Subway for 25 years before coming to work for Jeremiah’s Italian Ice. He began managing a Subway restaurant in 1996, and in 2001, he became a field consultant and held that position until 2018 when he became the Director of Operations for Jeremiah’s Italian Ice’s Central Alabama and Southwest Georgia territories. He viewed many sites in and around the Birmingham area before finding a vacancy in Vestavia Hills. Because of the great community and all of the popular brands near this location, it quickly became his favorite spot to open up shop. Jeremiah’s Italian Ice in Vestavia Hills officially opened its doors for business on Wednesday, Aug. 2. Here, Ricky talks about why he loves the “Italian ice” business.
What types of flavors do you offer?
All the flavors are outstanding, but I would have to say the candied apple combination is my favorite. It is a layering of sour green apple Italian ice, vanilla soft serve and salted caramel Italian ice. It tastes just like a caramel apple! For newcomers, I usually suggest mango gelati or blueberry gelati. Jeremiah’s Italian Ice does have seasonal items, too. Beginning in November, we will have a candy cane option coming out for patrons to try.
What is the best aspect of working for Jeremiah’s Italian Ice?
I would have to say the culture. We have fun at work! We try to keep the atmosphere up-beat and vibrant. Employees are our number-one priority, and with that, customers tend to get the best.
In what ways do you expect your business to expand?
We want to be a part of the community. We love Vestavia Hills and the people we have been lucky to meet. Catering, prepacks and being part of community events is how we plan to expand our business.
Of all the businesses to go into, why Italian ice?
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is special. I guess going to training in Orlando sold me on the brand. The Italian ice, soft serve ice cream, our famous gelati and the awesome culture that was demonstrated in training sold me on this business.
How has Vestavia Hills become advantageous for helping your business stay competitive in this industry?
Vestavia Hills and surrounding areas have been very welcoming to the brand. The Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce, Vestavia City Center, the City of Vestavia and the schools surrounding our location have all been extremely helpful. We look forward to being part of the community for many years to come!
Patrons can visit Jeremiah’s Italian Ice at 790 Montgomery Hwy #106 every Sunday-Thursday from noon-10 p.m. and on Friday-Saturday from noon-11 p.m. Follow the business on Instagram @jeremiahsice.vestavia.fanpage.