MILTON — As Milton's historic Tastee Freez continues its many years of service to the community, it looks to the bright future after recently welcoming a new general manager, Michelle Binder.

Binder, who started as the general manager three months ago, previously worked with the restaurant for four years and has been in the food industry for over 10 years and considers Tastee Freez part of her home and a big part of Milton.

"(It) is like a big heart of Milton," Binder said. "Throughout the years Tastee Freez has stood firm. We have the best ice cream."

Reflecting on why she was drawn into coming back to the beloved restaurant, Binder said she loved knowing that Tastee Freez is involved in the community. Binder said the restaurant regularly tries to hire local people for their first jobs, providing them lots of training, and does local food drives. She also said they are known for being a place that will work with probation offices to provide work opportunities to people on probation.

"We are well known for giving people second and third chances," she said.

Binder said as she continues her role, she wants to improve the quality at her restaurant, making sure the consistency of the food remains at the level it needs to be for its customers and that her staff knows that she appreciates and values them.

In the short time she has taken over the role of general manager, owner Mike Thomas said Binder has made remarkable improvements in the restaurant's overall operation, especially with the staff. Thomas said the staff turnover rate had dropped and the moral had improved.

"They call her momma," Thomas said. "We are excited to have Michelle as our general manager. She is dedicated to keeping the heritage of and mission of Tastee Freez."

Binder said she truly appreciates the community for their support of the restaurant and hopes to continue to serve them for many more years.

"I really love what I do," she said. "We have employees who come to work who love what they do and want to do their best."