I Love Ice Cream & More is a family-owned shop that serves hand-dipped ice cream, specialty soups, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches (with choices of ham, turkey or pulled pork), Reuben sandwiches, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and Nathan's famous 1/4 lb all-beef gourmet hot dogs.
The shop offers hand-dipped ice cream in cones, shakes, malts, floats, sundaes, banana splits, custom-made ice cream cakes and specialty creations, such as strawberry shortcake, cookie monster, turtle delight and hot fudge brownie delight. The shop also serves coffee, soft drinks, or tea.
The ice cream & more shop is owned by Wendy Johnson along with her husband, Kevin, daughter, Megan, and son, Ryan. “Our oldest daughter, Katlyn, and son-in-law, Andrew, are often hanging out in the shop with our grand babies, which our customers enjoy, since I have all of our family photos on the walls”, said Wendy. She continues, “It’s just one more way that we try to make the shop like our home, where everyone is welcome and we want them to feel right at home.”
Wendy has always wanted to own her own business. It was an item that she could finally scratch off her bucket list. Wendy shared, “When my youngest child started high school, I felt like I needed to start the second half of my life.” Wendy was always on the hunt for businesses that were for sale. When I love Ice Cream & More was listed for sale, Wendy shared, “and the rest is history!”
When asked why Wendy chose I love Ice Cream & More, she replied, “When I answered the for sale ad and agreed to meet with the owner, I had no idea what the business was. The ad was very cryptic, stating only that it was an established business on the Waynesville Square.” She continues, “When I found out that it was an ice cream shop that also served my favorite hot dog...Nathan's, I knew it was meant to be!”
“I always wanted to open a little cafe, so it was truly a dream come true to find one that carried all of the things that I would have put together if I had started from scratch.”
Aside from securing permits, business licensure, and reordering supplies, Wendy had to set a good social media presence. She wanted customers to be aware of the ownership change but that all their favorite food plus more would still be offered.
Wendy and her family were excited for the new opportunity. There wasn’t much time for emotions to impede as the family purchased the business and a week later had it up and running again. Wendy shared, “In addition to my wonderful family, I have the best of friends. Friends who are genuinely happy for me and support me unconditionally. The bonus part of this is that so many of our customers have become like family. They root for us to succeed, and are happy to see us grow.” Wendy said, “It is very humbling and heartwarming.”
Wendy and her family are always looking for ways to grow. “We're currently working on setting up a mobile cart, to use at the different festivals and venues that occur in the county.”
When asked what advice Wendy would provide for fellow entrepreneurs, she responded with, be prepared to work hard. “You have to be willing to put in the sweat-equity to see any type of positive results. Always be present in your business. No one can run your business like you can and the way that you want it to be ran.” She advises, “Don't expect to just come in and hire employees and turn the keys over to them to run the business. Of course, you can do that but it most likely will not turn out well. It takes a while to assemble a team that understands your vision for the business, and is willing to do what it takes to achieve that vision.”
I Love Ice Cream & More is open year-round and offers a daily “MRE” special, which is, any ¼ lb Nathan's hot dog, with your choice of toppings, a bag of chips, a bottle of soda, tea or water and a fresh-baked cookie, all for seven dollars, tax included! The shop is spacious, with seating for 33, or you may call in advance for take-out. “The shop has also recently become a part of the FSW delivery network, so our customers can enjoy our delicious comfort food without even having to leave home!”
This year, I Love Ice Cream & More celebrated their fourth year in business. “Even though ice cream is literally in our business name, we are, as our motto states, so much more than just ice cream”!