Sweet Sammies is a locally owned ice cream sandwich shop in Fort Worth, Texas. Since it opened seven years ago, Sweet Sammies has been a popular destination for TCU students, who account for the majority of the customers that eat there. Its close proximity to the TCU campus brings many students in on a regular basis. TCU students love Sweet Sammie’s for its homemade cookies, which come from a family recipe, and its Blue Bell ice cream. Sweet Sammies also receives strong support from the local TCU alumni. The alumni continue to patronize Sweet Sammies, which speaks volumes about the one-of-a-kind concept and affordability of Sweet Sammies. Sweet Sammies excels at providing an unparalleled twist on traditional ice cream desserts, as proven by its involvement in the TCU community.
Sweet Sammies was founded in March of 2010 with the intention of sharing a family recipe with the Fort Worth community, as illustrated by its tagline “supporting Fort Worth’s sweet tooth since 2010.” Sweet Sammies is family run by the Close family. Dan, Kelly, and Kory Close are all very involved in Sweet Sammies, giving it a very welcoming family run atmosphere. The name Sweet Sammies is derived from their most popular menu item, the ice cream sandwich. In a recent interview with co-owner, Kory Close, he noted that, “the cookies are the foundation of our success because they come from my grandmother Audrey’s recipe.” However, Kory also said, “I had to tweak the recipe a little to make the cookies more stable so that they could hold together in the ice cream sandwiches.” When the Close household decided to start Sweet Sammies, they were fully aware of the high level of risk that came with attempting to start a business. In hindsight, their decision was a fabulous idea because their family recipe has become the backbone of one of the most successful ice cream shops in all of Fort Worth.
With an average annual temperature of 77 degrees and a relatively large city population, there may not be a better location for an ice cream shop than in the West 7th Street District in Fort Worth, Texas. Sweet Sammie’s happens to have the ideal location on West 7th Street, which makes it very easy to reach from any point in Fort Worth. In fact, it is located just three miles from the TCU campus and one and a half miles from downtown Fort Worth. It also is easily accessible from the Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Stockyards. This convent location is a big reason why people from all over Fort Worth are able to enjoy the ice cream sandwiches at Sweet Sammie’s. The West 7th Street District is always bustling with people due to the many entertainment options that it offers and the high number of restaurants that bring in traffic as well. Sweet Sammies also reaps the benefit of the highly populated area because its convenient location is next to the parking garage required to access these activities. People are forced to walk by it on the way to and from their cars. Kaitlynn N. from yelp experienced this exact situation: “Was looking for a dessert place after eating In-n-Out, and I was (pleasantly) punched in the face by the smell of fresh cookies!” Kaitlyn was coincidentally walking around West 7th. Needless to say, very few people can pass up the smell of freshly baked cookies! The diverse and consistent customer base of Sweet Sammies makes it a staple in not just the TCU community, but in all of Fort Worth.
While location is a very important factor in determining the success of a business, in order
to be truly successful a business must have a product that can lure potential customers back time and tie again. Sweet Sammies’ business thrives off of a family recipe. Kory mentioned, “Our cookie dough is made from scratch and comes from my grandmother’s recipe.” Although Sweet Sammies offers these cookies by themselves, many people choose to order a Sweet Sammie instead. A Sweet Sammie is two of these freshly baked cookies with Blue Bell ice cream in between, which forms a superb ice cream sandwich. In contrast to what most people would believe, the Sweet Sammie is only one of many delicious options at Sweet Sammie’s. Customers also have the option to purchase a warm brownie topped with Blue Bell ice cream, which according to Djb B. on yelp, is just as appetizing as the Sweet Sammie. As Djb B. exclaims, “Brownie Crack, the brownie with a scoop of rocky road on top was flavorful greatness.” One could also choose to get Blue Bell ice cream by itself, or beverages such as water, milk, Gatorade, and soda. However, the Sweet Sammie is the main attraction of this restaurant. The Sweet Sammie was recently recognized as one of the top five cookies in Fort Worth: “With 13 different kinds of cookies that can be creatively paired with a wide range of ice cream flavors, it’s no wonder the line is always out the door.” The mouth-watering, fresh products of Sweet Sammies continue to bring customers back on a regular basis.
Since we had heard so many great things about Sweet Sammies, we decided we must try it for ourselves. We read online that it is “known for homemade cookies and for the Blue Bell ice cream it used to sandwich in between.” As we walked into the shop, the fresh smell of the cookies hit us, and our mouths began to water. As we looked around, we saw lots of TCU decorations and posters hanging on the purple walls. These TCU-themed decorations clearly indicated that Sweet Sammies is very involved in the TCU community. As TCU students, we felt very welcomed! The owner Kory greeted us with a friendly smile and asked us if it was our first time at Sweet Sammie’s. When we said yes, he gave us the rundown on the menu and told us what the most popular menu items were. This kind, welcoming gesture made us want to support their business. Initially, we thought that a place with a concept as special as Sweet Sammies would be on the expensive side. To our surprise, the prices were relatively cheap and affordable. A combination of cheap prices and the best dessert in Fort Worth, Texas, leaves us with no doubts as to why Sweet Sammies continues to thrive after being open for almost seven years.
Sweet Sammies’ involvement in the TCU community plays a big role in its continued success. Sweet Sammie’s has very good connections with the TCU alumni network. Kory informed us that TCU alumni such as Andy Dalton, quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Marshall Newhouse, offensive lineman for the New York Giants, still come in from time to time to get their Sweet Sammies fix. This goes to show the impact that involvement in the TCU community can end up having in the long run on a small business like Sweet Sammies. The owner Kory also stated that, “current TCU students are our most important customer base because they have had the biggest impact on Sweet Sammie’s and make up almost all of our customers Mondays through Thursdays.” This makes TCU students their number one target market, which has led Kory in the past to sponsor and cater many events on the TCU campus, such as Greek life events and many events for other TCU organizations. This is a savvy marketing tool because it helps Sweet Sammie’s gain more exposure, especially for the TCU incoming freshmen that are potentially unfamiliar with the shop. According to Kory, coming to Sweet Sammie’s after TCU football games has become a tradition for many students on campus which makes the post-game rush the busiest that the shop ever gets. Sweet Sammies also plans to get involved in the other sports on campus too instead of limiting themselves to just football. With the growing talent and success on a national level of teams like the TCU baseball team, this is a smart marketing strategy to help introduce the brand to even more potential customers. Sweet Sammies has become a place where students and other TCU fans can go celebrate a Horned Frog win or seek comfort after a loss.
Sweet Sammies’ concept of fusing a cookie shop and an ice cream shop has proven to be a success throughout its seven years of business. Sweet Sammies’ central location in Fort Worth, Texas, allows people from all over the town to eat there. The West 7th District has proven to be an optimal location for Sweet Sammies because it is always busy! Fresh ingredients and a family recipe are the cornerstones of Sweet Sammie’s and keep customers coming back regularly. On top of that, its customer service is superb and the owner, Kory is very good at interacting with the customers and making them feel welcomed. Sweet Sammies has become widely involved in the TCU community. Over the years, it has established itself as a place where fans can go after a TCU athletics game, a popular hangout spot among TCU students and alumni, and a dependable catering option for the TCU Greek community. Based on its continued success and growth in its seven years of existence, we believe that Sweet Sammie’s will continue to thrive in the TCU and Fort Worth community.