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The Scoop Ice Cream Shop & Eats is a cool stop in Six Mile

Noel Kelley grew up about six miles from downtown Six Mile and has always lived within about a 10-mile radius of the small Pickens County town.

After a three-decade career at Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station, Kelley now is the supervisor of food and fun as the new owner of The Scoop Ice Cream Shop & Eats on N. Main Street in Six Mile.

“I needed something to do and I was looking at starting a business of my own, but I wasn’t sure what that was going to be,” Kelley explains. “Before this business came up for sale, I’d been making pizzas for about eight months. I was going to try to make a go with a pizza truck or pizza restaurant.”

And while pizza’s still in the mix, Freakshakes, banana splits and hot fudge brownie sundaes claim center stage at The Scoop.

“We’re keeping things very much the same as the family that started it,” Kelley said. “I love what they did inside and out. It’s the same great ice cream shop that opened two years ago.”

With more than 25 ice cream flavors and almost 10 varieties of its signature Freakshake, The Scoop is very much an ice cream parlor, according to Kelley. But the popular Six Mile stop also features New York style pizzas, paninis, salads and deli sandwiches made from premium Boar’s Head brand meats. And when the weather cools down, look for an array of homemade soups.

For a town that had a population of 675 in the 2010 census, Six Mile swells with lake traffic during the summer. And that’s a boon for the ice cream business, Kelley says.

“You can watch the boats in the morning headed toward the lake and in the evening, you see them headed back, so we do get a lot of traffic from that,” he said. “There is a lot of vacationing at (lakes) Keowee and Jocassee. We have customers who tell us they come here every summer to start off their week.”

What’s The Scoop’s biggest draw? You guessed it. Freakshakes.

“Freakshakes are a big deal here,” Kelley says. “People come from an hour away for those – Fountain Inn, Anderson, Piedmont, Dacusville, even Toccoa, GA. Our employees pride themselves on how well they can create these masterpieces.”

Served in a large glass mug with a thick layer of ice, a Freakshake starts with Hershey’s ice cream and lots of whipped cream and sprinkles. Depending on the shake’s theme, various types of cupcakes, brownies and cookies circle the mug and crown the top.

For some customers – especially those who grew up in Pennsylvania and Michigan, the Hershey’s ice cream served at The Scoop provides a trip down memory lane.

“I hadn’t heard of Hershey’s Ice Cream growing up,” Kelley explains, “but we have a lot of folks who come into this area from different parts of the country and they tell me it’s just like going to the store when they were kids. They see the flavors they loved growing up and it brings back a little something from their childhood.”

Another aspect of The Scoop that Kelley plans to keep and enhance is the art. From the railroad tracks and yellow brick road painted on the floor inside to the large Six Mile mural on the outside of the building, The Scoop’s murals also are an attraction.

Painted by artist Jim Juras of Seneca, the Six Mile mural on The Scoop’s exterior has become a centerpiece of the town and the preferred place for a photo op.

“I see a lot of pictures of that sign with kids and families standing in front of it.” Kelley said. “When you visit Six Mile, this is a great place to come and take a picture and post it.”

For Kelley, owning a business in a place where he grew up riding his bicycle into town is a unique experience.

“Six Mile is a great little small town,” he said. “When I was young, my family’s idea of going out on the town was driving up to Six Mile and getting a drink out of a Coke machine that was outside of a store because everything was typically closed in the evening.

“The Scoop is a great opportunity for me and my family to get into the local business scene and provide something that folks enjoy.”

Want to visit?

The Scoop Ice Cream Shop & Eats, 108 N. Main Street, Six Mile SC 29682, (864) 481-5137

Hours: Wednesday & Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Monday & Tuesday Closed.

Note: The Scoop Ice Cream Shop & Eats has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic and follows strict operating guidelines for restaurants. The establishment offers a large area with outdoor seating at picnic tables.

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