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“Simple” Ice Cream Shop Opens in Downtown Waterville

April and Ken Cook, owners of Clayful Art, recently opened Simply Soft Serve at 10 N. Third St. in Waterville. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY JOEL SENSENIG | MIRROR REPORTER — The owners of downtown Waterville’s Clayful Art have opened an ice cream shop next door to their business. April and Ken Cook hosted the grand opening of Simply Soft Serve, 10 N. Third St., last weekend. The shop’s name is indicative of its offerings, with ice cream and a basic line of sundaes available in one size and one price – $2.50. Seasonal specialty sundaes will be offered at a higher cost. “It’s kind of always been a plan of ours,” April said of opening the ice cream shop next door to the clay studio, housed in the longtime Koral Hamburg location. “We do birthday parties in here, so we wanted to add that as an extension of our birthdays.” Although the husband and wife business duo said they had originally considered using the ice cream shop solely for Clayful Art parties, they soon realized they might as well open it to the rest of the public. In addition to soft-serve Toft’s ice cream, the shop will also offer coffee, tea and some sweets, particularly during the winter months. The Cooks said their business model largely depends on customer demand. “This year, it’s really all about customer feedback,” April said. “We’re going to listen to what customers want and determine our hours and needs based on that.” Based on an evening of business during the recent Blues, Brews and Brats festival outside their doors, the Cooks are excited to see what the future holds for their business extension. “We are ecstatic about it,” April said. “We got great customer feedback, so it was exciting. Everybody seems to like the product we’re serving.” April said the Toft’s ice cream the shop offers is a high-quality, rich and creamy product. Simply Soft Serve will also offer Flavor Burst products, which allow for the injection of flavors into the soft-serve ice cream. Optional flavors include strawberry, chocolate, caramel, butter pecan, root beer, cotton candy, cheesecake and raspberry. Flavors can be combined to create a more complex taste, Ken noted. Initially, Simply Soft Serve plans to be open daily from noon to 9:00 p.m.

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