Fear not, ice cream lovers, the business behind the big ice cream cone at 605 E. 400 South may have a new owner and name, but it still sells Snelgrove ice cream.
And Snelgrove Ice Cream Parlors Inc., the company that started it all, has plans to open new shops in Midway and Draper by the end of the year.Mike Fifield bought the former Snelgrove Ice Cream Parlor on 400 South in February. He initially planned to continue running it as a Snelgrove's shop, just like the previous licensee.
But after discussions with Snelgrove Ice Cream Parlors Inc., Fifield said, he decided he did not want to pay the franchise fees. Under the new name of Squirrel Brothers, the parlor carries everything from coffee, bagels and sandwiches to both Snelgrove's and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
"I've lived up in the Northwest a lot, and I've noticed that here ice cream is very big," Fifield said.
However, he said, some adults seemed to want more than ice cream when they took their children out for a treat. That is what encouraged him to offer espresso, latte and other coffee drinks. He even came up with what he calls "Mormon latte," or "motte" - a drink made of steamed whole milk with flavorings added.
"The only difference between it and latte is that in latte, you actually add espresso," Fifield said.
Some customers were concerned when the Squirrel Brothers sign went up on the shop, he said. But once they found out they could still stop in for an ice cream fix, they seemed to like the change.
"My favorite is to have a nice dessert and then to have a little coffee afterwards," Fifield said. "Everybody seems to like it so far. We still carry the best flavors of Snelgrove's. But a lot of people, like myself, like Ben & Jerry's better."
The 400 South shop was the last one licensed to use the Snelgrove name that was not owned by Snelgrove Ice Cream Parlors Inc., according to that company's director of food operations, Brad Lyle.
Snelgrove Ice Cream was founded in 1929 by C.R. Snelgrove and his sons, J. Barr and C. Laird.
C. Laird Snelgrove sold a controlling interest in the company to Michael and David Nelson, owners of an H&R Block franchise, in 1989. In 1991, the Nelsons sold the Snelgrove ice cream-making plant at 850 E. 2100 South in Sugar House to MKD Distributors of Seattle, which is owned by Dreyer's and Edy's Grand Ice Cream, based in Oakland, Calif.
Dreyer's kept the Snelgrove name for Salt Lake City and continues to use Snelgrove recipes, Lyle said.
And now the ice cream parlor business plans to open two stores to complement its two remaining shops in Sugar House and Fort Union.
Snelgrove Ice Cream Parlors Inc. has moved its corporate offices to 10,000 square feet on the second floor of a building located behind the planned new Midway parlor at 380 E. Main.
The 2,500-square-foot Midway shop should open for business in two or three weeks, Lyle said, and it also will include a Luigi's House of Pizza.
Construction on the Draper parlor, near 12300 South and 600 East, will start this summer, he said, and the company also is experimenting with a shop in a Rexburg, Idaho, supermarket.
If the current projects go well, Lyle said, even more Snelgrove parlors could pop up in the future.
"We're going to see how it goes," he said. "We've kind of held at two (stores) for a number of years, and we've done a real good job with the business, controlling our costs of goods and labor.
"We're optimistic. It's a great, strong brand name."