Spartanburg Highway, or I29, can seem like more of a route at times than a destination, but that’s not the case when it comes to your sweet tooth. At 297 Spartanburg Hwy, on the edge of Lyman, an unassuming plaza holds a colorful surprise: Big Ben’s Desserts and Ice Cream.
Ben Hall, Clemson football tight end (2001-2005) and free agent until 2006, returned to his hometown of Wellford, post-NFL. Hall started baking out of his home kitchen in 2014, before opening his sweetery in late August 2018. “Football was never the dream or goal,” Hall said. “I realize looking back on my life things set you up to be something. My work ethic just came back to me, and I just submerged myself into baking. I would get in the kitchen and bake all day and all night. I would take the things I baked to beauty salons and barber shops to sell to help build my confidence.”
And bake he did. The sweets shop is full of cake slices, milkshakes, honey bun cake, ice cream, and cupcakes that sell out daily. Favorites such as the cheesecake come with unlimited toppings. The original and most popular item by far is Ben’s light and fluffy banana pudding– baked into a cake OR sold by the small, medium, and large pan. The shop motto is, “Nothing could be sweeter,” and we agree!
“The store allows me to meet so many people in the community I have never met before,” Hall said. “I was born and raised in Wellford. This is my hometown, and it’s been great to open up something in your community.
“A lot of players don’t come back and reside in their community. This community has helped me so much and I feel obligated to help the next person. That is what I want to do in life. This business is just a vessel to serve. This is all way bigger than me.”
Fill your cupcake cravings Tuesday-Thursday 11AM-8PM, Friday-Saturday 11AM-9PM, and Sundays 12-7PM.