CARBONDALE — A novelty treat that sprang from the mind of an SIU alumnus has found a new home on the Carbondale campus.
Dippin’ Dots, the maker of tiny ice cream beads flash frozen at 40 degrees below zero, opened a new “Sundae Shop” in the SIU Student Center last week. The new location is part of a push Dippin’ Dots is making to expand after emerging from bankruptcy last year, a company spokeswoman said.
Scott Fischer of Oklahoma City bought the company in 2012 and became its new president. Company founder Curtis Jones, an SIU alumnus who created the first Dippin’ Dots in 1987, maintains his spot as CEO, managing daily operations for the company headquartered in Paducah.
Dippin’ Dots spokeswoman Billie Stuber said the company has about 150 franchise locations, in addition to about 2,000 other spots — theme parks, ball stadiums, etc. — where the product is sold. The company employs 170 people, and Stuber said the plan is to hire about 30 more full-time employees in the near future.
“We want to get Dippin’ Dots to as many people as possible, so you should be seeing us in as many places as possible,” Stuber said.
Officials pitched the Student Center locale after Dippin’ Dots provided some of its signature desserts for a campus-wide ice cream social in September, said Adam Gross, director of sales for the company.
“There was such an overwhelming response to the product,” Gross said. “We’d actually spoken to (SIU) in the past about doing a Sundae Shop on campus, and that conversation kind of fell off. We did this ice cream social and from the student reaction, I guess it changed their minds and they asked us to take another look at it.”
The shop is managed and staffed by Chartwells, which manages food service operations for the Student Center.
Student Center Director Tina Bennett said Dippin’ Dots is a great addition to the building’s dining options. “Hopefully, it will bring in the students for an afternoon treat,” she added.
A grand opening for the shop is planned for this week.