APTOS—Sometime in the summer, Mid-County will have a new ice cream shop, a walk-up establishment near the heart of Aptos Village.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream—headquartered in Pennsylvania with 200 locations throughout the U.S. and in South Korea—features 24 flavors that are hand-made on-site daily, says Jeffrey Yee, who co-owns the Aptos shop with his wife Brittney Dexel. The business is known among other things for holding customer pajama day, bring-your-own-banana day (for $1 off a banana split) and offering doggie sundaes.
Yee says that Bruster’s has in the eastern part of the country been woven into the fabric of family life. He says he discovered the place during frequent business trips to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“It’s one of those family things that, when you’re out there, it’s a reward for people to go to the local Bruster’s,” he said. “There is always something fresh being made that morning, and I haven’t found anything out here on the West Coast like it.”
Yee is a soon-to-be-retired electrical contractor, and Dexel is a CPA who has been working locally since 1997.
“If I retire, I have to keep busy,” Yee said. “This would be my joy.”
Both say this an opportunity to give back to the community in which they live, and say they plan on supporting local organizations.
“We are really excited to be a part of the community,” Dexel said. “We were looking to branch out and look for something fun to do.”
The store will be at 150 Rancho Del Mar in Aptos, which formerly housed a KFC restaurant. The place is just a stone’s throw from the sprawling Aptos Village, which for the past few years has undergone a sea change of development with a New Leaf Community Market, several housing units and a handful of restaurants and shops. If the pandemic numbers continue to decline, the pair hopes to capture the crowds that flood to the village during the summer.
“Ideally we want to be open and dishing out ice cream and providing samples prior to the Fourth of July parade that happens in Aptos,” Yee said.