A whole new kind of ice cream is coming to Springfield as Sweet Charlie’s prepares to open its first location in Illinois. Two weeks ago, Springfield Business Journal broke the news that Gypsy Soul was going to be the first tenant in the new retail building at 3450 Liberty Drive, across from Sky Zone. Now, it is confirmed that the ice cream shop long-rumored to be opening in the area will be Sweet Charlie’s, which plans to take 1686 square feet in the recently constructed 9600 square foot building.
Founded in 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sweet Charlie’s prepares made to order ice cream and frozen yogurt on a surface that is below 20 degrees, allowing small ice crystals to quickly form. “We don’t have any freezers in the store at all, since the product is made fresh,” explained Steven Billig, the company’s CFO. “The ice cream base we utilize comes from a dairy farm on the east coast. Nothing is frozen, so it’s shipped out to the local food distributer and then prepared on site.”
The ice cream is also served rolled, although it still comes with a variety of cookies, candy and other topping options. The company’s founder, Kyle Billig, was just 18 years old when he saw a video of a Thai street vendor preparing ice cream from scratch. He and his older brother, Jacob, began to research options in the United States and discovered there was nothing comparable. Soon, the whole family was involved and Sweet Charlie’s was born.
Just a few years later, there are now eight locations open along the east coast and in the south, with another 10-12 scheduled to open later this year. Besides Springfield, the only other location in the Midwest is an Overland Park, Kansas store opening soon.
Billig says they have a local franchisee in place and plan to have the store here open by early summer. “We’re excited to bring rolled ice cream to Springfield.”
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