Sam Crisler, The Waverly News
WAVERLY — Temperatures peaked in the mid-80s over Labor Day weekend, just warm enough to warrant a swim or an ice cream run to beat the heat.
Waverly families looking to make this past weekend were greeted with a new ice cream option, parked on the side of the street in an old motorhome. For most of Sunday and Labor Day Monday, a line stretched from the RV to 141st Street.
It was the soft grand opening of Sweets On The Streets – the brainchild of Jessica Skar, who wanted to give Waverly a place to grab an ice cream cone after the sun went down.
“We just heard people in town say it would be nice to have something like that,” Skar said. “And it turned out to be awesome.”
Shortly after Skar and her husband PJ moved to Waverly in 2020, they looked forward to summer nights when they could take their daughters to Vike’s Corner Cafe for a few scoops or a cone of soft-serve. They would see other families there who had loaded up and driven to the Highway 6 staple on their golf carts.
People also read…
“We loved seeing families ride Vike’s on golf carts and four-wheelers, wait for their cones, and spend family time together,” Skar said. “Once we noticed that wasn’t happening anymore, we thought, ‘We should do this! “”
Skar was inspired by a fictional bakery that operates out of a trailer in the Netflix drama “Virgin River,” so she started scouring the web for interior design ideas, food suppliers, and more. ice cream and a reusable pull-along motorhome.
In May, she found what she was looking for in a Facebook Marketplace listing near Ashland, and she and PJ gutted the RV to the frame. Over the summer they rebuilt it to sport a retro theme with a mint green stripe snaking around the outside.
“I just wanted something cool,” Skar said. “Not just a simple trailer that you will stop on. Something fun.”
There are still a few cosmetic elements to add, such as an awning above and a frame around the window.
“But we were at the point where we could say, ‘Okay, let’s try a soft open.’ And it went so well,” Skar said.
For their first weekend, they parked outside Davidson’s Plumbing and Welding along 141st Street across from the Waverly Community Foundation Building. Word spread quickly, and before long, golf carts and ATVs were rolling towards the RV for a frozen treat.
“We saw families pull over and kids dripping cones everywhere,” Skar said. “It was great.”
Of the dozen 2.5-gallon tubs of ice cream Skar had stocked before the opening, only two were left when Labor Day ended. And the monster cookies they had for sale dwindled to the last batch. Skar therefore had to quickly place orders for the following weekend.
The Skars source their ice cream from the Missouri Ice Cream Factory, which wholesales to retailers in the Midwest. Opening weekend, Skar loaded up on the popular “Blackberry Cobbler” and best-selling “Tiger King” flavor, which mixes orange cake batter ice cream with chunks of ice cream. ‘Oreo.
“I wanted ice cream that you couldn’t pick up from a Blue Bunny box at the store,” Skar said. “That would defeat the purpose.”
Sweets On The Streets offers samples, but for many customers who forgo that option, the flavor they choose is a leap of faith. Skar and PJ said that was one of the best parts of the job.
“Seeing people react to different flavors, and when they take that first bite, like, ‘Oh, that’s good,'” she said.
The plan is to keep the RV open as much as possible, even during the winter when he plans to carry warmer treats, like hot chocolate. But late summer ice cream sales are a good test for when they kick off as they heat up again next spring.
“We are working on all the issues and everything that we will be better prepared for in the spring,” Skar said.
And Skar said she already has event planners reaching out to distribute Sweets On The Streets at farmers’ markets and community gatherings. Her ultimate goal is to receive an invitation from a supplier to Seward’s annual 4th of July celebration.
The Skars don’t expect to get rich off Sweets On The Streets. More than that, it’s an opportunity for their daughters to learn how to run a business (with the reward of keeping tips) and for the family to meet more people around Waverly, some of whom live just down the street. .
“We can see them, and they can come up and say, ‘Hey, we’re so excited for you,” Skar said. “We can talk to them and get to know them.”
Sam Crisler is a reporter for The Waverly News. Contact him by email at [email protected].