The Waffle Cone dishes up cool treats for customers
By Audrey Spencer
The Cove Herald
Some northern ice cream companies may run low on supplies during a heat wave, but on a typical summer day at The Waffle Cone, manager Charlie Hayes never knows when to expect business.
"In the spring and fall, our hours start after 4, so we get the school and dinner rush," she said. "During the summer, people come in at random times."
Two freezers of Blue Bell ice cream greet The Waffle Cone's customers as they enter and a menu to the left lists the shop's offerings, including everything from classic cones and dishes to ice cream smoothies and parfaits. Hayes, wearing a bright red Super Mario hat, welcomes the customers with a big smile.
A 20-minute stay is enough to see the waves of business that roll in and out of the small shop, which will celebrate its two-year anniversary in August.
"It's like all of Copperas Cove decides they want ice cream at the same time," Hayes said, joking. "It looks dead at times, then other people say, 'It's always busy!'"
At any moment, it may be easy to hear the shop's music, or the door may be opening and closing as groups of people enter from the day's heat and parents give orders and children exclaim, "This is the best ice cream ever."
Alongside handmade milkshakes and floats, Hayes said it's what she and the other employees at the shop do with sundaes that make them stand out to patrons. They have made the Reese's sundae and Spaghetti Ice dishes some of the shop's most popular options.
Spaghetti Ice, ice cream made to look like spaghetti and meatballs, complete with a strawberry puree and white chocolate "Parmesan cheese" sprinkled on top, is definitely memorable.
Hayes' joy in the job comes from the chance to create and see the reactions of customers.
"Everyone is excited when they come in," she said. "It feels so good when they take a picture of their sundae to put on Facebook and I'm like, 'I made that.'"
The walls of the shop are covered with snapshots of patrons sticking out colored tongues or smiling over sundaes covered in mounds of whipped cream, sitting under wall paintings that boast the shop's support of the Bulldawgs.
There is even a sundae challenge.
"It's the Evoluntionary Sundae this year," said Hayes. "It started with eight scoops of ice cream, and every time someone finishes it, we add a scoop."
Currently, the Evolutionary Sundae challenge is at 12 scoops, the 11-scoop winner finishing in just over 19 minutes.
"I don't know how he did it," said Hayes. "Most people die at 20 minutes, but he looked fine."
Also available at the shop is the Mega Split. Billed as the "largest banana split in Texas," the dish offers two bananas, four sauces and an array of toppings.
Contact Audrey Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.
If you go
The Waffle Cone is at 306 E. Avenue D. Summer hours are noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.