It’s late. The snowstorm passed, the roads are clear and you’re craving dessert. Is ice cream a good option?
Ice cream and frozen yogurt shops face a dilemma in the wintertime, when people crave warmer treats. Businesses can change their hours and menus, but they can’t change people’s tastes.
Bloomington is not immune to this pattern.
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and Treats on East Third Street closed just prior to the winter season.
Linda Parker, manager of an Orange Leaf in Plainfield, Indiana, said she speculates the winter weather was part of the problem. Her store has different owners than the one in Bloomington.
“For a lot of us, closing or changing our hours is the best option,” Parker said.
Orange Leaf franchises are still thriving throughout the U.S. despite the Bloomington location closing. Parker said her store is not closing anytime soon. She even inherited one of the Bloomington store’s frozen yogurt machines.
Ice cream businesses have options to keep customers coming in the winter such as offering hot chocolate or coffee. Jiffy Treet East in Bloomington and Jiffy Treet West in Ellettsville offer hot food year round.
Jiffy Treet West manager Casey Tace said even though her business is hit hard during the winter, it doesn’t disappear. She said her store’s hot food helps keep business going.
Chocolate Moose Bloomington employee Gracie Hendrickson said as a cashier, she hasn’t seen traffic in her store change significantly.
“Holiday flavors always keep people coming back,” Hendrickson said.
She said she's also noticed more customers ordering coffee and hot foods like breakfast items recently.
The owner of the Bloomington Culver's location, John Laskowski, said ice cream is more popular at his store in the summer but business certainly doesn’t go away in the winter. He said he finds college kids crave ice cream year round, especially at night.
“If they want custard, they’re going to get it,” Laskowski said. “It doesn’t matter the time of year. It’s cold outside, but it’s warm inside here.”
Steak ‘n Shake co-manager James Potter said winter does not affect his sales very much either. He said his restaurant, located on North College Avenue near Memorial Stadium, gets a lot of traffic from sports fans.
His business relies more on whether class is in session at IU than what season it is.
“If school’s not going on, our store is pretty dead,” Potter said. “It’s that way even in the summer.”
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