CASEYVILLE, Ill. – When the calendar turns to March, the sign at Dairy Haven in Caseyville, Illinois, changes to open. Josh Hill co-owns Metro East mainstay with his mom.

“I’ve been here since the day I was born,” said Hill.

No wonder he crafts cones of Dairy Haven’s famous orange sherbet with poise and precision.

“The recipe has been here since the day the buildings been here,” Hill said.

Decades later, customers flock to the ice cream shop to get their fix.

“This is the best ice cream in the Metro East. Period,” said W.L. Fort, a customer.

He said he arrived an hour and a half before it opened to ensure he was first in the drive-thru. Inflation, however, is no laughing matter. It’s forced Dairy Haven to shake up its prices.

“Last year, we raised it 10-15 cents, and people kind of got annoyed. We had to adjust a little bit,” Hill said. “But this year, we had to bring it up even higher because milk’s gone up. Dairy’s gone up. The mix. Fruits have gone up. Even candy has gone up 30, 40, 50 dollars sometimes just for chocolate.”

Some customers said the higher prices made sense.

“Can you name anyone that’s cut prices? No. Have you heard of anyone who’s been successful long-term, constantly lowering prices? No,” said Clark Davis, a Collinsville resident. “That’s a fact of life.”

“It is what it is. They’re a local business so I expect prices to go up with inflation and all that stuff,” said Hannah Gravot, a Collinsville resident. “But I’ve been going here since I was little, so I’m going to pay whatever it is because it’s good.”

With no sign business is suffering on opening day, it appears Dairy Haven will remain just that for its devotees.

“I’m here on the first day, and I’m here on the day before the last day. And several time in between,” Fort said.