- Associated Press - Monday, July 4, 2016

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Ryan Langley can’t remember a time when his father, J.B., wasn’t in the kitchen cooking or inventing some type of sauce recipe.

When he was a kid living in Kentucky, Langley said his father used to make homemade peach ice cream with bourbon in it.

Now, years later, the hobby that started in Kentucky has turned into J.B.’s Proof, the Upstate’s only business that combines alcohol and ice cream.

“This was just another one of those things my dad came up with,” said Langley, a Spartanburg attorney. “He had his own barbecue sauce and various kinds of desserts. He took this family recipe and kept working on it.”

Langley said his father was obsessed with the idea for years and drove everyone crazy talking about new techniques, machines and processes.

J.B. had to work to get the consistency just right while figuring out a way to get the alcohol to freeze in the ice cream. But Langley said his father’s persistence and determination led to the success his company is having now.

Jenn Collins, CEO of J.B.’s Proof, said the company’s first full selling cycle fell during the October flooding in Columbia - where the ice cream is made - as well as the coldest months of the year. Despite those challenges, Collins said sales were strong.

Sales were particularly heavy around the Christmas holidays, Collins said, because people were buying pints of ice cream as gifts to take to parties rather than taking a bottle of wine.

“I think it goes back to how wonderful this product is, in the months of November and December when not a lot of ice cream is consumed, our sales were wonderful,” Collins said. “In the industry, traditionally in the alcohol and ice cream industry, January and February are two slowest months of year, and we still had good sales in both of those months.”

J.B.’s Proof can be purchased in a number of locations around the Upstate, including Chastain’s Liquor Store on Garner Road in Spartanburg.

Rebecca Fite, store manager at Chastain’s, said the store has been selling the ice cream for seven months. During that time, she said the store has sold 825 pints of the cool treat.

Fite said she was hesitant to carry the brand at first because the idea of alcohol and ice cream didn’t sound appealing. But when she tasted a sample of it, Fite said she was hooked.

J.B.’s Proof has done well at Chastain’s, Fite said. In the month of June, she said she has sold 89 pints, which is impressive because the store’s slowest months are typically June and July.

The company’s most popular flavor is the mocha chocolate moonshine, Fite said, but coconut rum also does well in Chastain’s.

“We’ve sold over 100 pints of coconut rum and mocha chocolate moonshine,” Fite said. “We don’t have anything we’ve sold less than 60 pints of.”

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Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/

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