Cone Shoppe connects with community with fun Razzle flavors, trivia

Cone Shoppe co-owner Tish Bouska demonstrates how they make their popular ice cream cookie treats. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

At the Cone Shoppe in Monticello, one of their popular summer time treats is the ice cream cookie.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     “People still love the classic vanilla cone,” said Mark Bouska, co-owner of The Cone Shoppe in Monticello.

     Mark and Tish Bouska took over ownership roughly six months ago and have enjoyed offering a wide variety of dairy products.

     While the most popular ice cream menu item is The Cone Shoppe’s Razzle, Mark said people would surprised by how many vanilla cones they sell.

     “People just like a cone,” said Tish. “But clearly Razzles are our top dog.”

     The top three Razzle flavors are Reese’s, Oreo, and cookie dough.

     In addition, they also sell plenty of banana splits, ice cream cookies, and ice cream pies.

     “You see a difference in what’s popular based in the seasons,” Tish said.

     The Bouskas brought back the popular ice cream pies in February after they purchased a new display cooler. They typically have several different flavors on hand, and can make one to order, as well. Some of the pie flavors include Snickers, turtle, and Butterfinger.

     “We can whip one up if it’s not a crazy day,” offered Tish. “We can do any flavor we have on hand.”

     The ice cream pies and cookies went over well during the pandemic because people were able to store them in their freezers at home.

     They’ve also gone out of their way to offer unique monthly Razzle flavors such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, peanut butter and jelly, Andres Mint, and strawberry shortcake.

     “It’s been fun getting input from our employees and trying different things,” said Mark is how they experiment and come up with different Razzle flavors.

     Typically the monthly Razzle flavors are in addition to what The Cone Shoppe offers on its regular menu. And, if popular enough, you might see a flavor offered up a second time.

     “It usually takes us a week or two to figure out the right recipe,” said Tish.

     “We’re always working on ideas,” added Mark. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it.”

     The Cone Shoppe stays connected with its customers not only with monthly Razzle flavors, but Wednesday trivia on its Facebook page. Each week they come up with a different Cone Shoppe-related or community trivia questions. Winners are awarded a special ice cream treat.

     Weekly trivia has gotten pretty popular with over 100 people joining in on the fun.

     “Trivia is my baby,” Tish said of coming up with the idea in the first place. “And people love it.”

     “It was something we thought would be fun for everyone, and gives us some additional name recognition without selling anything,” explained Mark.

     Hint: For this week’s Cone Shoppe trivia, the question will be related to a new Flavor Burst ice cream flavor that will be rolled out to the public later this week.

     Since taking over ownership, the Bouskas have added new and additional fryer options for those looking for a quick lunch or supper option: cheesy tots, fiesta poppers, and fan baskets, which are a mixture of fried favorites.

     In March, restaurants across the state either shut down or resorted to carry-out and delivery services. The Cone Shoppe remained open as people showed up to pick up their food and ice cream treat orders in support of a local business.

     “We just rolled with it,” said Mark. “we started carry-outs that very day (March 17).”

     A week ago, The Cone Shoppe once again opened for dine-in services, with some health and safety measures in place. They still offer carry-outs for those not comfortable coming in to eat in yet quite yet.

     “We never changed our hours,” said Tish of maintaining their scheduled hours of operation. “It was more work, but we had great community support.”

     “We just learned to weather the storm,” Mark said, “and continued to serve the community.”

     He said despite having to stay home due to COVID-19, people still had to eat, and chose to patronize The Cone Shoppe as much as possible.

     At one point, Tish shared that it became hard to find and order take-out boxes and PPE, not to mention the cost of meat increased.

     “There have been so many different aspects to it all,” she said.

     The Cone Shoppe is now open to 100 percent capacity.

     Welcoming their customers back, they’ve increased their outdoor seating with a wooden bench made locally by Johnny Russ. The Bouskas also relocated the American Flag off the building to a new flagpole in the center of the bench.

     “We wanted a place where we could keep the flag up at all times,” said Mark.



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