Sips and Dips: The latest ice cream shop and drink stop in Chocowinity

Published 8:25 am Saturday, March 16, 2024

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John Hunt knows the look his wife, Tiffany, gives him when she’s got a project in mind that requires his assistance. Tiffany’s projects aren’t simply hanging pictures or fixing appliances. Her two most recent projects have taken the Chocowinity couple on an adventure opening two businesses in the span of six months. 

The Hunts started Sip Happens traveling bar in September then opened Sips and Dips ice cream shop on Mar. 2 off of US Business Highway 17 in Chocowinity. 

Sip Happens offers bartending and bar rental services, but they also serve handcrafted, fresh-squeezed lemonade at family and kid friendly events. Sips and Dips offers a sweet treat any time of the day. In the mornings, they offer a variety of Black Powder coffees and pastries from Michael Stox. For the afternoon and evenings, they offer fresh-squeezed, colorful lemonades and outrageous, over-the-top milkshakes. Ice cream cones and milkshakes are made with Simply Natural ice cream. 

Tiffany wanted to open a traveling bar after watching videos of similar ones on TikTok. Having both ten years of experience in the food industry and a husband who “can do it all,” she planned how to make her dream a reality. She and John, horse owners themselves, started by searching for horse trailers they could redesign. They found one in West Virginia in August. John bartered with the previous owner, trading his roping saddle for the trailer. 

A month later, the Hunts were ready to open Sip Happens at the Mid-Atlantic Reptile Expo in Greenville. Since then, they’ve brought Sip Happens to several events around Beaufort and Pitt Counties. 

When Tiffany and John saw the former ABC store in Chocowinity up for sale, they knew they could take their talents and create a space for local and visiting families. After a lot of time and hard work, the couple opened the renovated space earlier this month as Sips and Dips ice cream shop. Tiffany said the amount of support they’ve received from the community since opening two weeks ago has been “insane.” 

“We couldn’t be more thankful for all of the support from Chocowinity,” John said. Tiffany added that Chocowinity customers were excited and brought valuable feedback on opening day. 

John hopes that more small businesses in Chocowinity and Washington will partner more often so that customers know where to shop locally. Sips and Dips partners with Ray and Nay’s Grill and Catering Food Truck. “If these small businesses will stick together and help each other, promote each other on Facebook…so people in the community know where to go and get more excited about shopping local – that helps out the community. That money is not going somewhere else to some corporate conglomerate. It’s staying here in the community.” 

Supporters of community growth, the Hunts would like to see more businesses open up in Chocowinity and Beaufort County as a whole while maintaining a “small town feel.” 

“Growth is always good, but I also like the small town feel. I would love Chocowinity to be like or even a portion of Winterville. Still growing, but small. Not that there’s anything wrong with Greenville, but I love that we have our [customers] in the morning. I know Ms. Betty’s order. I know Frank’s going to come in here every morning and get his coffee, and that’s what I like about this place. I would like to see growth for sure and keep the money in the local community, give back and things like that,” Tiffany said. 

Sips and Dips is open Monday-Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. at 3101 US Business Highway 17, Chocowinity.