Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
July 30, 2010
If you’ve ever dreamed of making a smooth move in the real estate game, now may be the time to snatch up your very own soft serve structure. Two former Twistee Treat ice-cream-cone-shaped stands are currently up for sale. With interest rates low and interest in ice cream high, this could be an opportune time to acquire a highly desirable dairy destination.
Back in the 1990’s, Twistee Treat was a rapidly expanding franchise, pumping out 28-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide fiberglass buildings. In a not-quite-mass-production freezing frenzy, an estimated 90 of these oddly-shaped stores were established. Former Twistee Treats are still sprinkled across the states, some sporting the original name, others with replacement monikers like King Kone, Chubby’s Treats, and Turtle Twist.
Twistee Treat sold its franchising rights to the Canadian company Twirlees, which continues to churn out cheerful, cookie-cutter, cherry-topped kiosks—which, to our eyes, lack the charm of a classic Twistee Treat. (It’s all in the proportions: Twirlees could use more swirly top and less boat-like base.)
The Twistee Treat in Zephyrhills, Florida is currently for sale for $495,000. The price includes .83 acres of property, a shed, a patio, a Slushee machine, and “attractive light poles.” The seller also offers “a staff of three with manager, if needed.” Free will, anyone? If your interest is limited to the actual ice-cream-cone-shaped building, it can be yours for just $40,000.
Another now-shuttered example (from Land O Lakes, Florida) is already packed up neatly and sitting on a trailer, ready to roll and relocate to a new home. According to a Craig’s List ad, the price is $90,000. The package comes with everything inside the structure, not limited to a fudge warmer, cream wipper [sic], waffle cone maker, rubber mats, and a boom box.
Since these building are so iconic, it would difficult to figure out how to re-purpose them for alternative uses. Perhaps with some imagination, they could be adapted to advancing the cupcake craze that is rampantly overrunning urban areas. Or maybe one could serve as a petite hair salon specializing in sky-high updos.
We are pleased to note that innovation in ice-cream-cone-shaped structures has not ceased entirely. This summer, Glenn Lucas of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, opened a floating example called “Trader Luke”. Although his one-of-a-kind soft serve stand has been said to resemble a bobbing onion, Lucas is merrily scooping away at his dessert dispensary, which is attached to his sailboat, Animal Crackers, where he lives with his dog. Business is brisk, proving that if you build it, they will cone.
[Post by Anne D. Bernstein]