In the beginning, they envisioned a little bakery—a place where Kearney residents and visitors could drop in and sample some of Dallas Hoffman’s delectable cookies, cheesecakes, and other tasty treats. But it didn’t take long for that vision to change. Four years, two locations, and a lot of Gump Burgers later, D’Creamery Sweets and Eats aims to be a staple in the community.
“We want to be the place for Kearney’s residents to grab a bite, enjoy the casual environment, and support us as we continue to support this town,” said owner Lisa Hoffman.
The husband-wife team of Dallas and Lisa Hoffman don’t come from a food-service background. Dallas is a motorcycle-racing enthusiast who previously made a living doing automotive bodywork. Lisa is an equestrian who worked as a legal professional. But when they decided to take over the little house next to Casey’s—which had operated as an ice cream and burger joint under different owners for years—they discovered a knack, and a passion, for making taste buds happy. What started as the idea for a bakery quickly grew into a menu offering burgers, fries, and homemade ice cream.
“This is Dallas’s meditation…. His happy place,” said Lisa. Dallas is the magic behind most of D’Creamery’s menu items, including the desserts, ice cream, and—most famously—the Gump Burger. The name “Gump” was given to Dallas by his granddaughter when she was learning to talk, and the specially seasoned, hand-patted patties he created were appropriately nicknamed “Gump burgers” by his family. Today, the burger is D’Creamery’s claim to fame.
The menu has evolved continuously since the restaurant opened in 2016 to include wraps, pork tenderloin, salads, and a variety of premium sides including pickle fries and soft pretzels with beer cheese. In late 2018, D’Creamery made the tough decision to close its 92 Highway location, but just a few months later it reopened in 2019 in a much larger, modern space in Old Church Plaza on 33 Highway/Jefferson St. in downtown Kearney. In the new location, Lisa and Dallas introduced a full breakfast menu and, most recently, exclusive dinner options such as open-face hot roast beef and country fried chicken.
This summer, D’Creamery plans to focus building business in their ice cream parlor—a dedicated space located just off the dining area with indoor and outdoor seating that’s perfect for dropping in after a ballgame or family outing. Each day, Dallas creates a couple batches of homemade ice cream, and the flavor offerings change often.
“He’s constantly experimenting with different flavors,” said Lisa of her husband’s ice cream creations. She joked that she’s not even sure where he comes up with the ideas sometimes; he just pops up and says, “Here, try this,” and offers her the latest flavor invention.
D’Creamery’s core team includes Shane Cox who runs the kitchen during breakfast and lunch, and server Baylee Tyler who keeps the front-of-house operations running smoothly. In addition, D’Creamery employs more than 20 people during the busy summer months—many of them high school students. Lisa said she hires so many people so teens can have flexibility to schedule shifts around school, athletics, and church activities, while gaining valuable work experience.
Providing a place for local students to work is just part of what D’Creamery does to give back to the community. “D’Creamery gives to the Kearney School District through advertising, donations, and support of student programs including athletics and beyond,” said Lisa. The family-owned business also makes donations to area churches, hosts fundraisers to help community members faced with medical and other challenges, and supports community activities and events.
None of that would be possible, of course, without the support that D’Creamery receives from the community. “We want everyone to know that their dollars spent locally go right back into the community,” said Lisa. “Besides taxes, local businesses like ours give money to the schools, charity programs, and many community events that strengthen our bonds to home.”
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