East Gainesville gets a new ice cream shop

by Alice

A new addition to the culinary landscape of east Gainesville has arrived with the grand opening of Totes Ice Cream at 1714 SE Hawthorne Road.


The debut of Totes Ice Cream marks a significant milestone as the first ice cream establishment in the eastern part of Gainesville. Owner Steve Grimes, renowned as the 2016 Gainesville Iron Chef champion and the force behind various food spots across Gainesville such as Korean Ramen, Crane Jacks, Wayward Fox, and Swamp Boil, has brought his expertise to the ice cream scene.

Inspired by the prime location of the building, formerly occupied by the restaurant Southern Charm, Grimes identified the need for a convenient and accessible spot along Hawthorne Road. “We see a lot of people coming and going to work or school, and I thought, why not just do ice cream?” Grimes remarked.

With a soft opening held last week and the grand opening slated for Wednesday, Totes Ice Cream is poised to become a hub for the community. Leroy Williams, Alachua County Public School’s Principal of the Year, expressed his excitement about the new venture, emphasizing the significance of having such amenities in the neighborhood. “We’ve never had an ice cream shop establishment on the east side of town,” Williams remarked, highlighting the shop’s potential to connect families and provide opportunities for the youth.

Grimes, reflecting on the genesis of Totes Ice Cream, shared his vision for the shop as a local gathering spot where patrons can enjoy handcrafted recipes made with care. “It’s me sharing a memory with people,” Grimes explained, underscoring his commitment to creating a welcoming environment where everyone feels at home.

The shop, open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., offers breakfast items until 10 a.m. or until they sell out, catering to early risers and ice cream enthusiasts alike. Grimes’s dedication to serving the community extends beyond mere culinary offerings; he aims to foster a sense of nostalgia and comfort akin to “grandma’s cooking” while drawing visitors from all corners of Gainesville to savor his creations.

As Totes Ice Cream opens its doors, it symbolizes more than just a new business venture; it represents a shared space where people can forge connections, create memories, and indulge in the simple pleasure of a scoop of ice cream.


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