Fri, 2015-05-15 05:00 News Staff
When life gave Waffle Cone’s owner lemons in the form of the Blue Bell ice cream recall, John Hayes decided not to make lemonade—but make his own ice cream. Due to the cost of purchasing commercial ice cream, Hayes announced on social media Monday evening that he couldn’t stay in business going that route. Instead, Hayes has purchased equipment and will soon start making his own ice cream as soon as that equipment arrives. “We hope to start selling our line by the end of the month. Our end goal is to have a lineup of 16 permanent hard-dipped ice cream flavors, two weekly rotational flavors based on customer requests, four Italian cream ice flavors, and two Italian ice flavors.” Right now he is waiting on the arrival of a six-quart batch freezer, smaller than the size he wanted, but Hayes said he’ll still be able to get the job done with that size freezer. He’s also ordered a flash freezer, along with all ice cream making supplies. “I am going to use quality ingredients,” Hayes said. “We’re going to start out with making the basic flavors like vanilla, and cookies and cream. We are going to make premium quality with 14 percent butter fat for those.”
He also plans to make Italian cream ice for a lighter type ice cream, used when making cotton candy and cake batter flavors. At the moment, Hayes has no plans to make nosugar- added flavors because of the chemicals required to produce them, but if the shop does sell any no-sugar- added ice cream, he will purchase those from a commercial bland. Hayes still sells commercially purchased ice cream now to dip cones and make sundaes, including a customer favorite, ice cream spaghetti, inspired by a customer in the first year or so of Waffle Cone being open.
Hayes said at the time, the customer asked for it, and he told the customer he didn’t make it. “The next time she came in, she carried a ricer with her, that she gave to me,” Hayes said. He has
since perfected the spaghetti ice cream, which is one of his more requested sundae type offerings. Listening to his customers is one of the reasons Hayes will start giving free samples of Waffle Cone’s new signature ice cream within the next two weeks. After Hayes has the first of the new flavors ready, made with his new equipment, the shop will offer free tastings every Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon. Hayes hopes to start dishing up the samples by the last Saturday in May. A little more than two weeks ago, Hayes was forced to close his ice cream shop’s doors when Blue Bell pulled all of its ice cream from shelves nationwide due to Listeria. Waffle Cone sold Blue Bell ice cream exclusively since first opening its doors nearly five years ago. Hayes said he found
out the evening before that Blue Bell would be arriving the very next morning to pick up his entire inventory of ice cream. He was able to reopen by purchasing commercial ice cream from another vendor. However, his sales were 50 percent of what they had been before the recall. “In no way do we haveany ill will towards Blue Bell because they have supported us, since 2010. Truth be told,
Waffle Cone would have not existed without Blue Bell ice cream,” Hayes posted via social media. “We consider many Blue Bell employees, from route sales drivers to plant managers, our friends.
We wish them good fortune in their future endeavors.”