Right as the Ozarks wades through the dog days of summer, a new mobile ice cream venture is on the verge this week of serving up cool treats in Springfield.
Swirly’s Ice Cream & Waffles is poised to open July 15, pending passage of a final city inspection, said Jack Powderly, who co-owns the food trailer business with wife Kenzie. The trailer will regularly be parked at 3867 S. Campbell Ave. in the Parkcrest Center.
The ice cream machine used by Swirly’s will mix dozens of ingredients into a chocolate or vanilla base to craft its frozen concoctions. The menu follows a school theme with signature swirlies such as Bookworm, Class Clown and Teacher’s Pet. Additionally, the eatery will sell bubble waffle tacos that can serve as a waffle cone substitute or as a standalone item, Powderly said.
“You can start with a simple flavor like chocolate or vanilla and get to some pretty cool combinations,” he said, noting the business will offer roughly 50 mix-ins, such as brownies, coffee cake, macadamia nuts and peaches. “The good thing about the machine is that with every bite that you take, you’re going to get every ingredient.
“It’s a different experience tasting it, and our presentation is pretty fun too.”
Powderly said startup costs are around $40,000 for the business, which included $30,000 for the trailer. The Ozark couple is subleasing space for the next year in the shopping center from Brad Peterson of BJP Properties LLC. Powderly declined to disclose the rate.
A trip to Arkansas last year where the couple had swirled ice cream served as inspiration for Swirly’s, Powderly said.
“We pretty much decided on the idea while on a car ride back from our anniversary in October,” he said, crediting his wife with the addition of bubble waffles to the menu. “We were looking for another item to go alongside our ice cream. They go well with ice cream or even by itself.”
Swirly’s is a career departure for Powderly, who has worked as a nurse the past two years after graduating from Cox College in 2020. He’s worked for both CoxHealth and, most recently, Mercy Springfield Communities, before deciding to take his first leap into ownership and the food service industry.
“If it’s successful, I’m not going to be doing nursing,” he said. “I’m hoping to make Swirly’s a full-time thing.”
While his wife will help on occasion at Swirly’s, she will maintain her primary professional focus at Revive Beauty Co. LLC in Ozark, a hair salon she opened in January, Powderly said.
The planned Friday launch of Swirly’s serves as a soft opening as Powderly said the business will temporarily close after its first week to accommodate a family vacation. It then will reopen in early August.
The congregation at Crossway Baptist Church is building a children’s wing at the west end of the church, and beginning in 2024, it will be home to a Christian academy.