Ashburn Magazine

Ashburn family finds success one scoop at a time

It was a dream 30 years in the making. In the late 1980s, Joel Smart took his girlfriend, LeAnne, to his favorite ice cream shop and told her about his dream to one day open his own shop.

One butter pecan cone later, LeAnne agreed. Together, his dream became their dream – and life went on. 

The duo married in 1989 and started a family. They had two daughters, Kylene and Bri. They worked busy, demanding careers – him in sales at USA Today, her in the ministry and coordinating events for a large church. They moved all over Loudoun County – first to Ashburn, then Leesburg and Hamilton and finally back to Ashburn.

But they never forgot their goal of one day getting into the ice cream business. 

“It would come up every few years,” Joel said. “But there were always things – the challenges of raising children, financial obligations at various stages in life – that seemed to get in the way.” 

Photos by Astri Wee of Astri Wee Photography

Many Ashburn residents who are fans of frozen treats know how this part of the story ends. In May 2020, the Smarts, with their now adult daughter Bri as the operations manager, finally fulfilled their dream — opening a Bruster’s Real Ice Cream shop at the Broadlands Village Center in Ashburn. 

To read more about the craziness on opening day (10,000 scoops!), how the Smarts have expanded rapidly across the area, and how listening to the wishes of their customer’s led to one memorable moment — click here for the rest of the story over at the Ashburn Magazine website.