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Somerset Splits is the go-to ice cream spot in Port Richmond. Photo courtesy: Somerset Splits.
Somerset Splits is the go-to ice cream spot in Port Richmond. Photo courtesy: Somerset Splits.

Somerset Splits, the Port Richmond ice cream shop offering sundaes, shakes, and more

Co-founder Dee Thurner never thought her husband, Jay Bennet would follow through on their conversations about opening an ice cream shop.

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Most know that Philly is best known for its food, like cheesesteaks, pretzels, and water ice. 

However, residents have also recently seen an influx of ice cream shops taking over the neighborhoods of Passyunk, Kensington, and Port Richmond.

An example is Somerset Splits, a small ice cream shop on the corner of Somerset and Almond Streets in Port Richmond that opened in September 2018.

Jay Bennet didn’t always dream of being an ice cream shop owner, but he grew tired of being an accountant and bookkeeper, and realized how different it would be to own an ice cream shop a couple of blocks from where he lived.

“I guess the past 10 years, I started working in the food service industry. I worked with Little Babies on Frankford Avenue and I fell in love with ice cream,” he said in a recent interview with AL DIA News.

One day, Bennet came home and told his wife, Dee Thurner, he had signed a lease for a shop not too far from their home.

“She was in shock,” he said.

They had sometimes talked about owning an ice cream shop, but Thurner never thought Bennet would actually do it.

“She kept telling me owning a small business would be a lot of work,” said Bennet. “Now, almost three years later, I knew what she meant.”

The pair saw quick positive reviews and people from all over the city wanted a scoop of what they were selling.

Their Instagram following has also been a key marketing outlet, and is constantly increasing thanks to their colorful cone displays.

“We are so grateful that our customers gave us a chance, I just thought that we were going to be a little corner shop, a neighborhood spot where kids come in,” he said.

Despite a COVID-19 pandemic that led countless small businesses to close down, Bennet and Thurner both believe that it was their large customer base that helped them stay afloat.

“We closed our indoor dining and just had a pick up window, but now we’ve hired more staff members to help us with the long lines of customers we usually get,” said Bennet.

The couple is currently in the process of reopening indoor seating for the future, but is in no rush to do so.

“Dee and I have been discussing that,” said Bennet.  “We have to train our staff for indoor customer service, but we are all vaccinated at this point so we could potentially be opening indoors.”

In the meantime, Somerset Splits has created some crafty, unique spins on the frozen treat by using a local Philly ice cream brand, Bassett’s.

One of their most well known sundaes is Stock’s strawberry shortcake sundae. The sundae starts with a mountain of Bassetts ice cream, topped with homemade strawberry sauce, Stock’s pound cake, fresh whipped cream, and a cherry.

“We also have our Reese’s Sundae,” said Bennett.

The famous sundae is made with peanut butter swirl ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate drizzle, Reese's pieces peanut butter chips, and whipped cream.

If you want to take advantage of the hot weather and spoil yourself with some delicious ice cream, check out what Somerset Splits has to offer!

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