The Scoop: ‘Sundae’ ice cream shop to open in former Book Train location
When Kent Beidel had the opportunity to take over two ice cream franchise installments in Vail and Edwards, the Colorado entrepreneur respectfully declined.
Instead, the self proclaimed, “ski bum” transformed two Marble Slab Creamery stores into his own ice cream shop known simply as Sundae.
“It’s easy to become a franchise. It’s harder to create your own brand,” the Sundae owner said of how he did not want to follow the franchise model’s strict rules, recipes and marketing requirements.
Instead, Beidel rolled the dice and evidently the risky business decision paid off as the small business owner now plans on opening another Sundae in the space formerly housed by Book Train at 723 Grand Ave. in downtown Glenwood Springs.
After four decades in business, Book Train announced earlier this year that its last day in operation would be April 26.
A few months later, a “coming soon” Sundae artisan ice cream poster appeared and provided at least a semblance of life to the vacant property nestled in the bustling downtown area.
According to Beidel, Sundae has no plans of reinventing the wheel but instead will continue to focus on preparing classic ice cream flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and many more in house with fresh ingredients.
“Everything we do is scoopable ice cream; traditional, classic American style ice cream but done really well,” Beidel explained. “We want to make the best chocolate ice cream that you’ve ever had. We want to blow your mind away when you have our chocolate ice cream.”
Sundae’s menu does not include soft-serve or frozen yogurt, but does offer sorbet and vegan-friendly options like its avocado coconut flavor, in addition to its wide ice cream selection.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, before getting into the ice cream business, Beidel previously opened and ran for 14 years Loaded Joe’s, which to this day still combines coffee, food, beer and wine in a community gathering atmosphere in Avon and Vail.
“That’s where I got my start in entrepreneurship in the mountains in Colorado,” Beidel said of Loaded Joe’s.
However, wanting a business that afforded him a living but also the ability to give back to the communities it served, Beidel settled on his own favorite dessert — ice cream.
“Based on the premise alone that 98 percent of the world loves ice cream. …I can give it away to nonprofits that are doing something great in our community,” Beidel said.
Currently, Sundae partners with Eagle County schools to offer “Smart Scoops,” which provides students with a free scoop of ice cream after they finish reading assignments.
At this point, Sundae’s Glenwood location does not have an official opening date. However, according to Beidel, September — although “an optimistic goal” — is not out of the question.
“There is certainly a chance, though, that it will be later than that … once we start to firm up all of the details,” Beidel said.
When Sundae does open, however, Beidel looked forward to preparing and serving all of the classic flavors, but said patrons could expect a few curveballs, too.
“Of course, I love the classics, but my favorite is to take our salted cookies and cream and combine that with our cheesecake ice cream. It’s exceptional,” Beidel said.
Ahead of the formal store opening, residents and tourists alike may get a taste of Sundae’s ice cream at the Glenwood Springs Downtown Farmer’s Market, Tuesdays in Centennial Park.
“We hope to be apart of the community in a positive way. That is our goal,” Beidel said.
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“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”