Loudon ice cream parlor draws customers from around the country
 GENE PATTERSON-6 News Anchor/Reporter

LOUDON (WATE) - In a little shop in the corner of a historic building in the City of Loudon, the Tic-Toc Ice Cream Parlor is always filled with people.

The store, located at 504 Grove Street, has only recently reopened, having taken the winter off, but like bees to honey, customers were abuzz with orders for their favorite flavors.

"It's wonderful. They have all different types of flavors here," said Pam Gregory.

Chocolate chip mint in a waffle cone was the flavor of choice for young Nicole Grindstaff of Knoxville.

"I can eat it all day and I'll eat more when I get home," she said.

Tic-Toc has been around for 16 years, but for the past ten years, Mary Jones and her husband Bob have been the owners.

"When we retired, we knew we wanted to come here. We liked this area and we were looking for something to do," Mary said.

Bob was a safety expert. Mary was in human resources. Those aren't exactly job requirements for operating an ice cream shop.

However, it seemed the right thing to do and they were the right people for the job.

"They're old fashioned and I come here often," said Darrell Grindstaff, who comes from Maryville to eat Tic Toc's treats.

The Tic-Toc, which has been featured in Southern Living Magazine, draws people from as close as down the street and from across the country.

"We have people who come here from all over the place. We have people who've paced up and down waiting for us to open because they had to get on an airplane back to somewhere, but they wanted the ice cream first," said Mary.

So what makes Tic-Toc's ice cream so good? The secret lies in butter fat.

"The more butter fat the better. It makes it more smoother and a lot more flavor," said ice cream maker Zeke Gainey.

Gainey, the resident ice cream aficionado says Tic-Toc's ice cream has 14 percent butter fat. He says most ice creams are 10 to 12 percent. That extra fat makes all the difference and the owners have no plans to change the recipe.

"People love it, and so why change it?" said Mary.

It's some of best ice cream in the world and it's made in Tennessee.