Nothing to fear at Frozen Shark ShopPublished 3:51pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Downtown Aurora has gotten a little bit sweeter with the addition of The Frozen Shark Ice Cream and Sweet Shop, a new hangout that offers ice cream, snacks, drinks and free wifi.
Bucky Weathers and Christy Carpenter opened the ice cream shop July 1 on Main Street across the street from the Aurora Fossil Museum.
They tried to choose a name for the business that would take advantage of the city’s rich history in fossils and tie in to their new neighbors.
“I think we just thought it’d be a fun project,” Carpenter said. “We talked about it for quite a while.”
The new business owners’ first obstacle was finding a location. Despite the many vacant buildings downtown, Carpenter and Weathers had trouble finding one that was available to lease.
The couple secured 380 Main Street but first had to repair all of the flood damage the building sustained from Hurricane Irene. It took them six weeks to open the space, which had been used for storage prior to the hurricane.
“We didn’t open quite as soon as we wanted to. It took a little bit more work than our ‘construction superintendent’ thought it would,” Carpenter said referring to Weathers.
Another obstacle has been getting the word out that they are there. Many of the museum visitors are children from daycares and schools. The new business has missed opportunities when those children came without money to spend on a treat.
The Frozen Shark’s most popular item on its ever-expanding menu is their milkshake. They also sell frozen yogurts, sherbets, sugar-free ice cream and frozen coffee.
Carpenter especially proud of the Sour Shark Dessert, made of ice cream, sour candy, whipped cream and a cherry.
“My 12-year-old nephew, Nycholas, created it,” she said.
In the coming months, Weathers and Carpenter planned to expand the menu to include coffee or donuts. They were also open to the possibility of selling homemade treats from local bakers and encouraged locals their ideas.
The best part of running the shop has been the people they meet. Carpenter said many of the visitors are more excited about the town and its fossils than the locals. That excitement has rubbed off on the Aurora native.
“If everybody was as excited as they were, it (Aurora) could grow a lot quicker,” she said.
The Frozen Shark is Carpenter’s second business venture. She ran a video rental store for years then took a job at a local school. Weathers and Carpenter have kept their day jobs and run The Frozen Shark on the side. Carpenter said she hoped they would inspire others to invest in downtown Aurora.
“This was an investment, but not a $10,000-investment by any means. If we do it and work, others could do it,” Carpenter said.
The Frozen Shark located at 380 Main Street in Aurora and is open Mondays through Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 322-2289, go to www.frozenshark.net or find The Frozen Shark on Twitter and Facebook.