Company: Smiley’s Ice Cream
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia, United States
Derek Smiley, Owner of Smiley’s Ice Cream, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Business Owners for dedication, achievements, and leadership in business management.
Backed by a Bachelor of Science from Bridge Water College, Mr. Smiley has excelled as the owner of Smiley’s Ice Cream since 2017. Honored as One of the Top Three Ice Cream Shops in 2019 and 2020, Smiley’s Ice Cream is a family-run and owned ice cream shop, specializing in making farm-fresh, premium, homemade ice cream, sorbet and other ice cream novelties. The ice cream, made daily, begins its journey 75 feet away at Mt. Crawford Creamery, a family-owned dairy farm milking 75+ Holstein and Holstein Jersey cross cows, using their fresh cream and milk.
Since his formative years, Mr. Smiley always liked the idea of creating and selling a product. While in high school, he bought a used greenhouse and would sell his products at the local farmers’ market, which was the start of his entrepreneurial endeavors. During his senior year in 1999, he began working for Jorge, who was the director of the local farmers market. Mr. Smiley recalled having a conversation with Jorge when they were out in the field, telling him that he wanted to sell a product in the market that would offer him business all summer long. Jorge suggested he tried selling ice cream since no one was selling it at the market. Mr. Smiley had experience making homemade ice cream at home and he really enjoyed it, which ultimately led him to get into the ice cream business.
Prior to spearheading his ice cream business, Mr. Smiley worked as an elementary school teacher for 15 years. With this background, he notes that he was able to apply many of the skills he learned as a teacher to his business. He has learned a lot about customer service and dealing with people of all ages. As a business owner, it is important to Mr. Smiley to rely on the local community as much as possible through working with local suppliers, as well as producing many items themselves, such as baking and toppings. To remain aware of his industry, he maintains membership with the National Ice Cream Retailers Association. Looking ahead, he hopes to find a second location for his business, as it is becoming more established in the community and further away.
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