Amish creamery scoops its way into Jasper

Photos by Daniel Vasta/The Herald
Ryleigh Opel, 10, left, and Evie Ziemann, 9, both of Jasper, eat ice cream cones at Big Olaf Creamery in Jasper on Thursday.


Jasper welcomed a Florida original to the Courthouse Square Saturday and they are looking to give the people what they want — ice cream.

“We weren’t really expecting to expand this quickly, but with the availability of the building and the support in the area, we thought this was a good time,” said Zach Graber, owner of Big Olaf Creamery of Indiana, which owns both the Big Olaf Creamery in Jasper, located at 609 Main St., and another in Montgomery, which opened in December 2018.

The Jasper creamery is in the former location of Libby’s Gourmet Ice Cream.

“We’ve gotten a big following in Jasper,” Graber said. “A lot of people here are familiar with our store in Montgomery and so they reacted well to us coming here.”

Big Olaf Creamery was founded in 1982 by Dennis Yoder, an Amish man, who opened the first store in Siesta Key, Florida. The store was one of the first to offer waffle cones in Florida.

Graber said people are familiar with the brand from their trips to Florida, so there is a lot of brand recognition in Jasper.

Laura Roettger of Jasper, left, feeds her daughter, Quinn, 1, ice cream at Big Olaf Creamery in Jasper on Thursday.

“I grew up around the product when our family would go to Florida in the summer,” said Graber, who is from Montgomery and isn’t Amish, but is of Amish descent. “I’ve been in love with it ever since I was a toddler and it’s been really special to me over the last 20 years.”

The Montgomery location offers coffee, hand-scooped ice cream and pastries. The Jasper location, which officially opened on Saturday, currently just offers ice cream, but Graber is hoping to grow the shop enough to begin offering coffee.

He said the quality of their 28 flavors of ice cream is what sets Big Olaf apart from other ice cream stores. The ice cream is churned in batch freezers by local Amish craftsman at the chain’s creamery in Sarasota, Florida, and shipped to Indiana.

“We don’t skimp on anything and we have tons of add-ins to all our flavors,” Graber said.

Graber is interested in having live music at the Jasper location in the future, just like they currently have at the Montgomery location.

He said the atmosphere in the store is great and people love going there and spending time with their family.

“We feel really welcomed here in Jasper and people are glad we are here,” he said. “We are glad to be a part of the community as well.”

Big Olaf Creamery is currently open from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday. They are open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

More on