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Ice Cream Chronicles (Vol. 13): The Red White & Blue of The Neapolitan

Cedarville may be a bit out of the way for most, but if you happen
that way, Neapolitan has some churned frozen goodness for you
When it comes to the overall western region of Central Ohio, Cedarville is not a town most people put on their destination lists, especially with tourist-friendly Yellow Springs (the state's pint-sized version of Berkeley, California) and the greater Dayton area just farther to the west in relatively close proximity. What Cedarville does have is a proportionally large representation in the history of the U.S. Senate - both Mike DeWine (now the current state Attorney General) and James H. Kyle (considered the father of the Labor Day holiday) hail from this small town of just over 4,000 people. The town also has a fairly large education-oriented base surrounding it, being centrally located to the Baptist-oriented Cedarville University as well as two historically black colleges in nearby Wilberforce (the state-run Central State and Wilberforce University, which was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church.)

This wouldn't be a town you would expect to find a rather delectable, homemade take on ice cream, but that's what I found in The Neapolitan.

Located in downtown pretty much at the intersection of State Route 72 and US Route 42, The Neapolitan is marked by a simple exterior, with the subtle trail of neapolitan-oriented colors rising upward on the building's face and a cadre of wooden rockers resting in front. This theme continues inside with a similarly none-too-fancy interior. Big bags of coffee beans on the floor (more on that later in the post) and a side-freezer of full of bagged bread loaves (the clerk was not exactly sure of the bread's origin when I asked about it) provided the only non-ice-cream related items in this modestly-sized room.

Simple space, simple choices, and simply good ice cream
The Neapolitan features at least a dozen or so homemade flavors at one time which seem to cover the gamut from the simple to certain crowd-pleasers to more gourmet-like flavors (I got the impression that the flavors were subject to both seasonality as well as a bit to the whims of the owners.) Alas, Butter Pecan was not an option on this visit, so I substituted their version of Buckeye (another fairly common choice of mine) along with a scoop of Cookie Dough and their Coconut Chai. For the price ($4.50), this was quite a good deal - their ice cream texture was along the line of Graeter's french-pot prepared ice creams, and the flavors featured just the right proportion of mix-ins and ice cream.

They were all quite good, but my favorite of the three was probably the Coconut Chai, with a pleasant but not overwhelming chai flavor with the texture of coconut plentiful in each spoonful. Also notable was the Buckeye: I'm not sure if they chop up their Buckeyes before they place them in the batch, but my scoop featured one pretty substantial chunk of this regional candy favorite to bite into.

For those who wish for something a little fancier, waffle cones, milk shakes, sundaes with various toppings and handpacked pints are available for the visitor.

Ingriguingly, and perhaps not so surprisingly, the co-located Stoney Creek
Roasters a (U.S.) Presidential theme throughout its space
I found out through my chatting that The Neapolitan, now open for roughly two years, is an offshoot business of the coffee roastery next door. Stoney Creek Roasters has been providing coffee and all the usual drink variations and freshly roasted beans to the residents of the area for six years. I was able to take and enjoy my ice cream scoops inside their space, and was taken in by the overlying theme within. Intriguingly, and maybe not so surprisingly (with Ohio being the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents), Stoney Creek sported a very presidential (and even vice-presidential) theme throughout its brick-lined space.

Both businesses were fairly slow on this particular weekend day, but with the surrounding universities being on lesser-attended summer sessions, a main component of this combo cafe/ice cream parlor customer base is currently out of the area. But I suspect that's just fine with the owners of this business and the residents of the area; aside from the stray interloper like me, they get this tucked away tiny gem of a place all to themselves.

The Neapolitan/Stoney Creek Coffee Roasters
83/85 N Main St,
Cedarville, OH  45314
(937) 697-5200
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