All Scream for Ice Cream
Saltwater Shanty’s homemade ice cream is a cool treat for the Holden Beach area.
When fifth-grade sweethearts Jeff and Leigh Whitfield opened Saltwater Shanty Ice Cream in the Holden Beach area in 2018, their vision was for Leigh to open a unique and fun seaside gift shop. And as a side thought Jeff said, “Why don’t we do homemade ice cream as well, and we can use my Uncle Gene’s fresh homemade ice cream recipes?”
And they started simply with just a few recipes and a couple of picnic tables.
Five years later, the Shanty now offers more than 24 signature homemade ice cream flavors — which are all best sellers — and is the new go-to homemade ice cream spot for residents and visitors.
Saltwater Shanty Ice Cream now has 12 full-time employees in the summer months, mostly high school and college students.
“The top flavor at Saltwater Shanty Ice Cream is Holden Beach Sand, which is a silky salted caramel flavor with tiny bits of English toffee,” Jeff says. “Another top flavor is Sea Turtle, which is vanilla ice cream with a fudge ripple and a caramel drizzle with our home-roasted pecans.”
Kids love the Blue Shark and Mermaid Cake flavors, which are both blue swirls of birthday cake and cream and topped with either a gummy blue shark or the blue mermaid glitter.
“That makes them smile every time,” Jeff says.
Other top flavors at the ice cream shop are Black Cherry, Summer Peach, Fresh Strawberry, Banana Pudding, Raspberry Truffle and their seriously dark chocolate ice cream, which is called Lockwood Folly Mud.
The Whitfields also have a popular sundae menu featuring their strawberry sundae with freshly cut farm strawberries. Cooked farm apples over vanilla ice cream is another popular item on the menu.
Jeff gets his fresh peaches and strawberries at a local market.
“And to accent all of our ice cream, we make our own waffle cones and waffle bowls served fresh and warm daily,” Jeff says.
People sometimes tell the Whitfields they have driven from as far away as Myrtle Beach and Wilmington to come for a visit. “And many vacationers say that we are their first stop when coming to Holden Beach,” Jeff says.
Leigh has wonderful childhood memories of summer evenings in her backyard running barefoot under the sprinklers with her five siblings and other neighborhood kids while “Daddy was churning his amazing fresh peach ice cream.”
Jeff also remembers similar scenarios where they both grew up in the small Southern town of Salisbury, North Carolina. It was the 1960s when everything still reminded everyone of the old TV show, Mayberry R.F.D., with Andy, Barney, Opie and Aunt Bea. Now it seems that the Saltwater Shanty Ice Cream shop is a place where simple hometown values and goodness prevail.
Leigh and Jeff Whitfield invite you to come have ice cream in the backyard nightly.
Check out the list with photos of each ice cream flavor at SaltwaterShanty.com.
Want to go?
Saltwater Shanty Ice Cream
1027 Sabbath Home Road SW, Supply
In the summer, the Shanty is open daily from 1 to 9 pm. Call for winter hours.