Frozen custard is found across America. From New York, where one of the first shops opened in Cooney Island, to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak burgers in California, these stores populate the country. While one of the best is Ted Drewes in St. Louis, Missouri, Fort Worth is home to a close second. Curly’s Frozen Custard, which is down the street from the Stockyards, is a vibrant place that comes alive on Saturday nights. People gather around the small fountain in the courtyard, and parents watch their kids and wipe custard off their faces. The environment of Curly’s takes this place from an average frozen custard stand on the side of the road, to a memorable, important piece of the community. Curly’s Custard creates a local atmosphere that welcomes tourists and regulars with it’s distinct menu through its location and welcoming environment.
Frozen custard was first introduced to United States in 1919. The dessert first appeared in Coney Island at a carnival as a novelty. After this blessing was introduced to America, it quickly spread in popularity and along the East Coast, and eventually the rest of America. The oldest, open custard stand is in Indiana and has been open since 1932. The store was opened by Florence and Charles Kirkhoff, and is named the Original Frozen Custard. They first served vanilla frozen custard as the only flavor. By the next year were serving chocolate and strawberry frozen custard also. While frozen custard’s firsts were in different states, Wisconsin is now the nation’s leader in manufacturing frozen custard. In fact, Milwaukee sells the most frozen custard than anywhere else in the country.
Now you may be wondering what is the difference between ice cream and frozen custard. Both are made from butterfat and sugar. However, ice cream has to have ten percent butterfat, while frozen custard usually has ten to sixteen percent butterfat, but it is usually closer to sixteen percent. In addition, it has sugar and egg yolk, which is one of the things that differentiates it from ice cream. In fact, for a dessert to be considered frozen custard it must have one and four-tenths percent egg yolk. Also, frozen custard is “made daily and served at eighteen to nineteen degrees Fahrenheit.” Like ice cream, frozen custard has air beaten into it. This is called overrun. However, frozen custard has less overrun than ice cream and has “small ice crystals.” On average, frozen custard is usually twenty percent overrun. This along with egg yolk and the increase in butterfat, makes frozen custard creamier and thicker than ice cream.
Curly’s offers a wide variety of flavors and special items. The stand is know to be good no matter what flavor you get. The most popular flavor is “Death by Chocolate” according to three of the employees we talked to. This flavor is loves by all and is a must have. While the store does offer the classics of chocolate and vanilla it also has some very different options. Amanda has been working there for five months and her favorite flavor is “peanut butter and jelly.” These special flavors change around each month and offer something new to try. They also sell wonderful homemade popsicles. They have dairy and nondairy which are both spectacular. If you aren’t feeling sweet things there are also some wonderful food items. Along with food Curly’s has smoothies and specialty sundaes. There are only five sundae options but each one is very good. Overall Curly’s has a huge menu and can satisfy the needs of anyone who walks in.
Curly’s location is perfect. The stand has many things that attract people all on the same street. It has a park nearby that is great for families and pets. The stand is also down the street from a popular golf course. This is the ideal place to stop after a long day at the course. The neighborhoods near Curly’s are large and create a strong customer base. The neighborhood consists mostly of families with kids who attend a preschool school down the street. The stockyards are also near the Custard stand. This is good because people want custard after spending time at the Stockyards. Overall Curly is in a good spot to not only attract people but to add to the culture of the neighborhood.
Curly’s distinct menu creates a local atmosphere with special flavors that are only at Curly’s. Each flavor is handmade and is completely different than anything you have ever tasted. This makes it local because it is only at Curly’s. For example the vanilla at Curly’s doesn’t taste like any random vanilla you would buy at the store. Curly’s also has huge variety, they have sweet and savory things. This massive variety gives the store a local feeling. Each menu item is something new and uses a local recipe. Almost everything is handmade and organic meaning it literally comes from the community. Overall Curly’s special menu gives it a new and special feeling. The menu is everything a local menu should include.
Curly’s location is a key part in creating a local atmosphere. The neighborhood nearby is very important because it creates a huge customer base. The huge customer base creates many regulars. Regulars create a feeling of community. Community is essential in creating a local atmosphere. There is also a park nearby, this park is important in establishing a local atmosphere because it compliments the custard stand by offering something to do while eating. Most Saturday nights the place can be packed with “Lots of families and couples,” according to Amanda, one of the employees. This is because of the location. It is so convenient for families and locals to walk in that it just makes sense for them to go. There is also the stockyards near the stand. The Stockyards are also good in helping the local feeling. “In the winter the Stockyards has the rodeos,” Julia, another employee pointed out. These rodeos bring more people in and make the stand busier. This is great for the local feeling because it brings in more people into the neighborhood. These are all examples of creating a local atmosphere through the location of Curly’s.
Curly’s environment created by the employees and regulars continuously invites people back again and again. Curly’s employees are bright, bubbly people. For example, one of the employees we talked to, Amanda, ends every encounter with a customer with the phrase, “Have a Curly’s day!” We got to sit and talk with the employees there and they could not have been kinder. Three of the five employees, Josh, Julia, and Amanda, sat and talked with us during a slower time, and answered all of our questions willingly and enthusiastically, while offering additional tidbits of information. One thing they mentioned was how busy Saturday night is. Julia told us how on Saturdays regulars to the stand and newcomers flock to the small stand. It is very often a hangout spot for teens from the local high school.
Overall Curly’s creates the ideal local atmosphere. It offers so many exciting ways to enjoy your memorable custard. From the other local attractions that keep you entertained to the specific flavors that keep you coming back. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular or new customer, Curly’s can be guaranteed to give you that feeling of being in a special place that is in a tight community. Curly’s welcomes all with this feeling. This atmosphere is created by the locals that keep the business afloat, by the support of other stores and landmarks near by, and of course the delicious custard.