By Anna Smith
The end of summer closes the doors of the technicolour treat shop along Highway three, but Crowsnest Cones is already looking forward to next spring for a second season.
Owners Chad and Melissa Schulte were looking for a way to make their community an even better place, as they live nearby, both for those looking for a place to stop and for locals looking for a treat alike.
“We live right by Seven Persons, our kids go to school in Seven Persons. My parents moved to Seven Persons about a year and a half ago,” said Schulte. “I just love the small town. I grew up in a small town, I really like a group setting. But you know, my kids love going to Seven Persons and spending their afternoons and evenings with grandma and grandpa, being able to go to the park and ride their bicycles around and stuff like that. Just always been a small town person. And that’s why we picked there, to live and to work now.”
The plan began during the height of the COVID-19 shutdown, when a walkup service such as a roadside ice cream shop wouldn’t be affected by the restrictions, said Schulte.
“And obviously, our summers aren’t getting any cooler,” said Schulte. “It seems like you know, ice cream is just something that everybody has in their budget. They’re driving by or walking by. It’s not a great big spend. But it’s something that everybody enjoys, and most people don’t mind spending a little on.”
Since opening, the family and their business have enjoyed immense support, which they are deeply grateful for, both from locals to Seven Persons and the area, as well as those on their journeys along the Highway 3.
“When I was there, I’d always talk to people and ask them where they’re from and why they stopped and stuff like that. We had lots of support from Bow Island, Foremost, Etzikom, and all that area. We had lots of people stopping in that really liked it,” said Schulte.
The shop offers ice cream and various ice cream treats, as well as slushies, as well as pizzas with meat procured from the famous Premium Sausage next door, with plans to offer a greater variety when they open again next spring.
They’re also looking to put up more signage, said Schulte, to help people coming from either direction know exactly where to turn in for the perfect stop on their drive, such as the old milk truck they have painted, by Painter Girl out of Bow Island, that rests along the path out of Medicine Hat.
“We’re hoping to get one like that on the other side of town as well. Lots of people I talked to said, you know that the first time they’d seen it, it was as they were driving by it. It was too late to stop,” said Schulte. “We’re gonna get more tables. We planted some trees this year, we’re really hoping we can get some wind shelter and some shade and stuff like that for people. So they got a nice, enjoyable stop. And a couple other little things we got on the go as well.”
Crowsnest Cones is deeply grateful for their reception during their first year, and is looking forward to seeing everyone for, hopefully, many summers to come.