Churning Away: Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe Expands Production

“I have always been an extremely hard worker,” said Cammie Wayne. “I am one of those people who really loves working.”

It’s a good thing Cammie enjoys churning away for long hours. The past few months, she’s done a lot of it. But, that’s nothing new for her. The longtime owner of the beloved Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe in Mobile recently added an additional title to her resume – operator of a new off-site creamery for her famous ice cream. While she now runs the only ice cream manufacturer and wholesaler in the Port City, Cammie’s ever-expanding journey with the Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe began many years ago.

Cammie was 16 when she got her first job, hired by Edwin Widemire to work at what was then Widemire’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe. After working there for a year or so, she left to take a job in jewelry sales for a few years, but she never gave up on her ice cream roots. In 1998, when Cammie was 30 years old, she purchased Old Dutch from Widemire. At the time, the ice cream sold at the shop was made offsite by Dairy Fresh, using Old Dutch’s special recipe. When the company told Cammie it would soon be closing, she decided to take on the production herself.

“My husband built me a tiny room in the back of the shop. Only one person could fit in there at a time. We bought one machine and started making our own ice cream,” explained Cammie. “After a while, people started approaching me saying, ‘Your ice cream is so good, can you make it for me?’ So, I started creating signature ice creams for local restaurants, and eventually produced my own line of ice creams.”

Today, you can find Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream on the shelves of more than 20 locally owned grocery stores in and around Mobile. And her sights are set for even more expansion thanks to the recent opening of the off-site creamery on Halls Mill Road in Mobile.

“I have been approached constantly by more grocery stores, but before this, I had to tell them no. I just couldn’t keep up,” she said. “Now, I can do it.”

The creamery, which was once a restaurant, came already fit with a cooler and walk-in freezer. The 2,400-square foot space allows for three machines, instead of just one. Her newest machine makes ice cream twice as fast as her original one, and the walk-in freezer gives her plenty of storage space.

“I’m not running out of flavors as much anymore, and I don’t have to work until two in the morning anymore because we can get it all done much faster,” Cammie said with a laugh.

Even though the ice cream production is now off-site, Cammie says the Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe won’t be changing anytime soon. “I want this place to stay the same. I tell customers, this shop will always be on the corner of Florida and Old Shell. Always. It’s not going anywhere,” said Cammie. “You can see even the wallpaper has not been touched since the ‘70s, and it will never be touched. Every year, I just take baby steps. It’s important to me that we don’t grow too fast.”

When Cammie isn’t elbow deep in ice cream production, her focus is on giving back to her community, by helping in local schools, hosting fundraisers at the shop or handing out ice cream at local races.

“Everyone always says, ‘shop local.’ Well, we also must give back, and that is my firm belief,” says Cammie. “As much as I expect you to come in here and spend your money, I believe in doing my part to give back.”

Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe at 2511 Old Shell Road in Mobile is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2-9 p.m. Sundays. Visit online at cammiesolddutch.com.

Story and Photos by Melissa Johnson Warnke; Main Photo by Brandon Robbins

This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of the Alabama Retailer.