For the past eighteen years, Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream (8130 Big Bend Boulevard, Webster Groves; 314-962-2700) has been a staple of the Webster Groves food scene, bringing joy and sweet treats to patrons from its storefront in the heart of the city's Old Orchard shopping district. Now, that era is drawing to a close; the shop's owner, Beckie Jacobs, announced that she will be closing the Webster Groves location on December 23, citing the inability for she and her landlord to reach a new lease agreement as the reason for the closure. Jacobs will reopen her ice cream business in the Grove sometime in the Spring of 2022.
"This is so bittersweet for me," says Jacobs in a release announcing the closure and new location. "After eighteen beloved years in Webster Groves, my customers have truly become family. Unfortunately, I've been unable to come to an agreement with my landlord, who terminated my lease, and I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a suitable, alternative location in Webster at this time. Fortunately, my plans for a new location in The Grove have been in the works for quite some time and we’ve got some super cool changes in store for our guests with our new City location."
Jacobs opened Serendipity in 2003, modeling her business off the ice cream parlors she used to visit when she was a kid growing up in St. Louis. Though she admitted to the RFT in a 2010 interview that she wasn't necessarily passionate about the frozen dessert, she liked it enough to see it as a way to develop her career path. That interest propelled her to dive headfirst into the business, enrolling in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's ice cream workshop to learn how to make the dessert before launching her storefront.
In her nearly two decades in business, Jacobs has distinguished herself as one of the city's premier ice cream brands, offering her homemade frozen concoctions to patrons of her shop as well as her wholesale restaurant customers for whom she is known to create custom flavors. She's also made a name for Serendipity as the city's definitive place to celebrate National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, an annual spectacle held the first Saturday in February. Though the shop will be closed for this year's festivities, Jacobs is ensuring that her loyal customers can still celebrate with her through events at both the Parkmoor Drive-In in Webster Groves and the Sliced Pint downtown.
As for her new location in the Grove, which will be at 4400 Manchester Road, Jacobs says she has big plans, including a larger space, expanded menu and increased hours. In addition to ice cream, offerings at the forthcoming shop will include coffee and pastries for morning visitors and a larger selection on boozy "Spirited Shakes" for the evening crowd. She is also excited to offer new items like coffee floats, which feature coffee over a bon bon, affogato, an Italian concoction which pairs ice cream with a shot of espresso, and small Dutch pancakes, called poffertjes, served with a variety of toppings.
Jacobs had hoped to have the Grove location open sooner than Spring of 2022, but she explains that supply chain problems and construction issues have delayed the buildout. However, in addition to the partnerships with the Parkmoor and the Sliced Pint for "Ice Cream for Breakfast Day," she will be doing pop-ups around town until the shop opens so guests can continue to enjoy her sweet treats.
"The good news [is that] many of the restaurants that already serve my ice cream are stepping up to the plate to be pop-up partners," Jacobs says, assuring St. Louis dessert lovers that they will not be without her wares for too long.
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