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OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Snookies 29th Season Begins

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Des Moines’ most popular locally owned ice cream shop opened Saturday morning for its 29th year of business.

Some camped out overnight to be first in line to get their favorite treats.

“It’s fun. It’s tradition. We usually have more people, but they couldn’t come this year,” said Mary-Beth, a customer.

Snookies Malt Shop was opened in 1986 by Des Moines teachers, Marilyn Caves and Jim Graves.

In 2012, they handed over the business to their daughter Brandi.

The shop is best known for its chocolate shakes, dipped cones, and free cones for dogs.

While people enjoy the ice cream, owners say getting to know each customer is what has kept them in business.

“The owners get to know the people. They get out and make a connection with the people, as opposed to walking up to the window and not knowing who is behind it. I guess that’s a part of it,” said Jim Graves, a former owner.

Don’t bring your debit or credit card. It’s cash only.


  • Nate

    The downturn in campers was probably mostly weather related, but it could also be the fact that they keep saying each year is the last year. If you read the articles last year, you would have assumed they were shuddered for sure. Be careful not to cry wolf.

  • Hugo S. LaVia

    No wonder they call it Snookies – Caves & Graves sounds like a thriller B movie.

    Anyone else old enough to remember when the Jennnison’s owned this, and it was a DQ?

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