When we finished walking around the New Boston Fair, Tom, John, and I decided to eat lunch at Youngs Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs instead of at the New Boston Fair. Youngs Jersey Dairy is 14 miles from George Rogers Clark Park and we were interested in being in a dry place with 21st Century food. Tom and I really enjoy Youngs Jersey Dairy and have been there several times. We were there most recently in 2019 when we hiked the Clifton Gorge with our friend Jeanette Meleen.
As we were leaving the park we heard a voice yell, “John Hartley” and turned around to see who it was. It was our friends Cheryl and Scott Giddens who live in South Carolina! Cheryl has made an effort to visit us whenever she is close. Cheryl texted us on Friday to ask if we were available on Saturday and we had responded we would be at the New Boston Fair. She and Scott were in Columbus for a sports autograph event. When the event ended in the morning, they decided to come out to the New Boston Fair to see us.
Fortunately Cheryl and Scott were in line to buy their tickets and had not entered the event yet. All our plans immediately changed. We still wanted to go to Youngs Jersey Dairy for lunch and Scott and Cheryl agreed to go with us.
Youngs Jersey Dairy started in 1869 when the land was bought by the Young family. Over time, they developed the dairy and eventually started selling their products directly to the people living in the Dayton and Springfield area. The farm keeps expanding with more and more activities, but they are still best known for their ice cream and cheese.
When we got to Youngs Jersey Dairy, we were surprised at how full the parking lot was. Youngs Jersey Dairy is more than just a place to get ice cream. They have an event center, a big gift shop, a putt-putt golf course, a corn maze, a petting zoo, and wagon rides. Labor Day weekend was a family fun weekend, where families could buy a wristband for unlimited all-day rides and games. That was why the parking lot was so full, even though it rained most of the afternoon.
The Big Red Barn, as they call the main building, has been completely remodeled during the pandemic. Instead of the old restaurant area, visitors can watch ice cream being made during the week. There is a big open area with a queue for ordering your food and other queues for picking your food up. The gift shop has been expanded and extends out into the eating space. There are big coolers and freezers stocked with ice cream, milk, cheese, and other products from the farm. Baked goods cover long tables and displays.
It was late for lunch and we were hungry, so we got in line and ordered sandwiches. All of us got cheese curds for our sides. Cheese curds are a specialty of Youngs Jersey Dairy and one of our favorite things. The cheese curds look more like fried cheese sticks than curds, but they are delicious and fresh. We got a variety of sandwiches and all of them were good. I got a ham and cheese grilled to perfection. Delicious!
We sat at a table and talked and laughed with Scott and Cheryl. We had not seen them since their wedding two years ago. I performed the wedding and this trip was an anniversary trip for them. In addition to our own food, we enjoyed watching the ice cream delights that other people were ordering. The banana splits and the brownie sundaes looked big enough for all five of us to share! We were especially intrigued by the Cow Patty ice cream flavor: dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookie pieces, chocolate covered toffee pieces and mini chocolate chips. It looked delicious!
By the time we finished our sandwiches, however, I was too full even for ice cream. John got a couple of containers to go. Scott and Cheryl walked us partway out to the car to say goodbye. Then they went back in for some ice cream. Cheryl sent me a picture of the Cow Patty and I had a moment of remorse that I had not gotten any.
It was wonderful to spend a little time with Cheryl and Scott. We enjoyed eating at Youngs Jersey Dairy, as always, and look forward to going back just for the ice cream (maybe).