By Kristen Russo
The giant vanilla ice-cream cone on East Broad Street is bringing some friendly competition for the Dairy Queen around the corner.
Falls Twistee Treat, an ice-cream stand shaped like an ice-cream cone, is topped with sprinkles and a purple unicorn in place of a cherry.
It offers 16 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, coney dogs, nachos, soft pretzels, chili, shakes and sundaes.
It also has smoothies and hot and frozen lattes.
“The first thing I thought of when I saw the building was the young kids in town and how kids like to fantasize and they like neat things,” said Richard Kolovich, owner of Falls Twistee Treat. “I thought they’d like to come there.”
Kolovich also owns the Ace Hardware store across the street from the stand. He said he has been in the hardware business for about 35 years.
“In the hardware business, it’s all work-related. I wanted to do something that was a little more fun, and so far, ice cream has been a lot of fun,” Kolovich said.
Kolovich found the cone-shaped building online. Though it had been part of a now-defunct Florida ice-cream chain, the building had traveled to Canada to be refurbished and then to Georgia.
When Kolovich bought it, its pieces were shipped from Georgia to Newton Falls.
Other ice-cream-cone-shaped buildings can be found in Canton and Massillon.
The Newton Falls stand opened in September 2010, when other shops were finishing up their seasons and preparing to close for the winter, said general manager Danielle Zimomra.
During the eight weeks it was open last season, Zimomra said Falls Twistee Treat sold 300 tubs of ice cream.
This year, Falls Twistee Treat opened in late March, Kolovich said.
David Flint, 67 of Newton Falls, said he has been to Falls Twistee Treat three or four times since it opened a few weeks ago.
“It’s unique and different. So far everything’s been good. No complaints,” Flint said, adding that the corn dogs are his favorite item.
Brett Godfrey, 55, of Newton Falls said he has been to the stand about a dozen times.
This time, he ordered a chocolate cone.
“I think it’s a great place. The hot dogs are good. The chili is good. It’s real convenient and easy to get in and get out,” Godfrey said.
The stand has a drive-through window for customers who are in a hurry or for those who don’t want to leave their cars in cold or rainy weather.
Zimomra said the drive-through easily can be converted to a team window when sports teams show up at the stand.
Because the business wants to be involved in the community, it is sponsoring its own sports team this season — youth T-ball for 5- and 6-year-olds.
The stand’s mascot, an ice-cream cone named Twistee, will be on hand for special events, Zimomra said.
The business also offers free small cones to students who receive A’s on their report cards.
“It’s going to kind of give them something to work toward. I know it might be little, but it gets them excited,” Zimomra said. “It’s good to see students who are working hard.”
The shop also offers discounts to sports teams, members of the military and local businesses that place large orders.
Each month, the stand has a new special flavor.
Zimomra said April’s flavor is sweet and salty — a peanut-nougat ice cream with caramel swirl and salted peanuts.
“We wouldn’t survive without chocolate and vanilla, but our garbage can and chocolate peanut butter [flavors] are right behind those,” Zimomra said of the stand’s most popular flavors.
The garbage-can flavor is vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, praline pecans and cookie-dough bits.
Zimomra said the stand plans to expand its menu options so it can stay open year-round.
In addition to serving ice cream and coneys, Falls Twistee Treat also hosts parties, showers and events.
A large, white building behind the stand houses a banquet hall that can accommodate up to 80 guests.
Kolovich said the stand offers catering for events in the banquet hall.
The catering includes Oven Fresh Pizza, which is located next door.
In addition to pizza, patrons can choose from the stand’s standard offerings to feed their guests.
Kolovich said customers who rent the banquet hall also can bring their own food or hire an outside caterer.