The self-serve frozen yogurt shop Just Chill is not a franchise. Instead, this local family-owned dessert shop in downtown Clinton proudly supports their local community (and has since 2013). The space mixes historic and contemporary vibes and offers a variety of treats; of course, they specialize in frozen yogurt and ice cream.
Opening a dessert shop was a no-brainer for owner Alice DiGiambattista. “I’ve always been an ice cream and frozen yogurt lover,” she says. “When I came upon the self-service concept, I thought it was such a fun and creative idea,” she adds.
A Family Affair
Alice grew up in High Bridge, but now lives in Pittstown, so she chose to open Just Chill in Clinton. “I opted out of the strip-center-style location. Growing up in Hunterdon County, I realize what a special niche this town is in central Jersey,” she says.
It’s easy to feel like part of the family when you visit Just Chill; partly because many of the workers you’ll see are Alice’s daughters, nieces, and nephew. In addition, their TV displays a slideshow of pictures going all the way back to the day Just Chill opened. “It’s funny to watch parents and kids look at the pictures,” Alice says. “Some kids were one years old when we opened. They get a kick out of seeing old pictures of them and their friends.”
Likewise, Alice wants Just Chill to be a place where people can gather and laugh while they enjoy a treat. During your visit, you’ll find board games for people to play together. “It’s so nice to watch people interact with each other rather than have their heads in a phone,” she says.
If Walls Could Talk
Just Chill has a cheerful atmosphere to match its tasty treats. The indoor seating offers a “relaxed and fun setting with great views of Main Street’ and can fit 20 patrons. Meanwhile, “the warmth of the original brick walls, mixed with the glass tiles and contemporary furniture, make it a ‘chill’ environment,” according to Alice.
The dessert shop uses the building’s original brick walls and wood floors, which date back to 1892. “When we did our build out, we wanted to keep as much of the old as we could while complementing it with the modern white glass tile walls that display the frozen yogurt machines, toppings and gelato,” she explains. Artwork from local artists accent the space as well as enlarged photos of their favorite customer pictures.
During the warmer months, outdoor seating for 12 offers quite a site; including “amazing” views of the historic Red Mill, the Hunterdon Art Museum, and the Raritan River waterfall.
Just Chill is open from March 1 to the first Saturday in December. They always close the day after Clinton’s popular Christmas parade, which is always on the first Friday of December. The next day, they let loyal customers fill up containers from home for free. Local firefighters, police officers, and EMTs are also treated to all-they-can-eat desserts.
Just Chill (We Know You Want to Read About The Menu)
So what sorts of delicious desserts will you find at Just Chill? Besides self-serve frozen yogurt, they offer vegan sorbet, ice cream, milkshakes, sweet crepes, protein smoothies, pudding and acai bowls.
However, new for 2020 are options for homemade gelato and chocolate fondue. “We partnered with an Italian company,” Alice says. “So all our gelato ingredients are imported from Italy and I can’t tell you how amazingly good it is.”
Last year, they introduced smoothie bowls with options for acai, pitaya, green, and pineapple. The frozen yogurt and ice cream are still the main attractions, though. When it comes to flavors they keep the big sellers around, but rotate three to four flavors every two weeks. Click here to see the full flavor menu.
As part of their commitment to top notch customer service, Just Chill handles the allergy needs of kids and adults; they do so by carrying allergy-friendly options, and also add items and flavors based on customer request. “Big chains don’t do those small things,” says Alice.
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