Cones Ice Cream Company offers ice cream, more, in Indian Land June 13, 2012 

— Cones Ice Cream Co. is more than just ice cream.

Located in Indian Land next to the Food Lion on Hwy. 521, the eatery has been open for nearly eight months. They serve ice cream, of course, and plenty of other offerings.

Smoothies and shakes are favorites, but heavier fare also brings customers back, owner Kim Knapik said. Hot dogs, with New England-style grilled buns, are a big hit as are hamburgers and fries. Nachos, corn dogs, and panini also grace the menu.

For the traditionalist, both hand dipped and soft serve ice cream is available. The shop features 37 varieties of hand dipped ice cream, including customer favorite Red Velvet Cake. Soft serve ice cream comes with a “flavor burst” option, giving customers the choice of eight different flavors to mix in.

Milkshakes, hurricanes (a thick milkshake with candy mixed in), and sundaes are also on the menu.

Kim Knapik and husband Jim opened the shop this past October when Kim thought her job in human resources might be eliminated. Her job remained stable, though, and Knapik found herself working a full time job and running the shop. Though it can be exhausting balancing the two, it’s rewarding, she said. Knapik’s daughter, Nicole, also helps out.

Cones Ice Cream Co. is decorated in bright purples and greens with a mural of a cow eating ice cream on one wall. A cow shaped into a bench provides a comfortable spot for kids to eat outside, and a small cow ride provides entertainment indoors.

“We want people to be comfortable, whether an adult or a child,” Knapik said.

The shop attempts to serve all customers, Knapik said, regardless of their preferences and dietary needs. Sugar free ice cream is offered, as are gluten free goodies.

“Just because they can’t have ice cream doesn’t mean they can’t have something,” Knapik said.

Serving the customer is job No. 1, she added. Because the shop is not a franchise, the Knapiks feel they have more flexibility to try new items. They can also play around with the ice creams and toppings to create new, fun treats.

“When a customer comes in and doesn’t know what they want, we can say, ‘What do you feel like?’ and if we can do it, we’ll do it,” Knapik said, mentioning a customer who recently asked for an ice cream soda.

Though its not on their regular menu, Knapik was glad to oblige and made the customer an ice cream and soda water concoction that reminded him of his childhood days at a soda fountain.

Being independently owned also allowed the Knapiks some purchasing flexibility. Many of their products are locally made, including Charlotte-based hot dog buns, Fort Mill’s Breadsmith bread for their sandwiches, and ice cream from Tony’s of Gastonia and Mooresville Ice Cream Co.

Opening in a recession was a gamble for the couple, but so far it has paid off. Business is “progressing in an upward manner, thank God,” Knapik said.

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