Delivering Happiness in a Cone
October 13, 2021
Written By Adam Buckallew
Select Break Time locations now serve delicious scoops of premium, Missouri-made ice cream from Ice Cream Factory. Visitors to Break Time stores in Ashland, Clinton, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit and Macon can treat themselves to unique ice cream flavors like gooey butter cake, blackberry cobbler, Cobalt Cookie and more.
Ice Cream Factory, founded by Shannon Imler, began as a local ice cream scoop shop in Eldon, Mo. The idea was born from Imler’s desire to make better quality ice cream for the people of mid-Missouri. But what began with opening a single ice cream parlor in April 2019 quickly grew into something more. Imler’s ice creams are now available at 650 wholesale locations in 11 states, and he’s opened a second scoop shop in Jefferson City, Mo.
“No matter where you are in the world, people love ice cream,” Imler said. “It makes them happy. It’s fun to see your product put a smile on someone’s face.”
The process of creating each of the Ice Cream Factory’s more than 30 flavors took research and trial and error. Along the way, Imler learned the three keys to making great ice cream: high butter-fat content, large inclusions (cookies, cake pieces, candy, etc.) and low overrun. Ice creams with higher butter-fat content taste creamier and more flavorful. Inclusions such as the chunks of made-from-scratch brownies in Ice Cream Factory’s Brownie Blast have the double benefit of boosting taste and creating visual interest.
“Appearance is important with ice cream,” Imler said. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted our ice cream to be fun, colorful and to have easily visible inclusions.”
Overrun is an industry term used to judge ice cream quality. It refers to the amount of air pushed into the ice cream while it’s being made. Lower overrun means less air and higher quality. The difference is evident in richer flavors and heavier containers.
“If you pick up a pint of our ice cream and compare that to a similar amount of lower quality ice cream, you will notice the difference in weight,” Imler said. “Our ice creams are denser, which means you’re getting more ice cream and less air in each bite.”
Ice Cream Factory’s commitment to producing premium ice cream caught the attention of Break Time Food Service Development Manager Stephanie Mahoney.
“We had been looking for local vendors to partner with for new foodservice concepts in our stores, and Ice Cream Factory stood out,” Mahoney said. “We loved their flavors, their dedication to quality and the devoted following they built with their fans.”
Mahoney worked with Imler to select the eight flavors available at each of the participating Break Time locations. Customers can expect to find a mix of Ice Cream Factory’s unique flavors like Tiger King, a cake batter ice cream with swirls of buttercream icing layered among pieces of chocolate sandwich cookie, alongside old standards like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Break Time is planning to bring Ice Cream Factory service to two additional locations in 2022. Meanwhile, Mahoney is evaluating potential sites for the future.
“It’s a great draw that brings more customers to our stores at night and on the weekends,” Mahoney said. “We also like how the program is easy to manage, requires little preparation and has minimal waste. The only challenge is making sure we have enough freezer space.”
Imler appreciates new opportunities like the partnership with Break Time. Embracing new ideas has helped Imler grow his business from a local ice cream shop to a regional brand that’s on track to sell a million pints of product in 2021.
“It’s phenomenal to have our ice cream available by the scoop at Break Time stores,” Imler said. “We’re excited for what the future holds.”
To learn more about Ice Cream Factory and its premium ice cream flavors, visit icecreamfactoryco.com.