If the coronavirus has you feeling down, Scott Flowers has one remedy for you: Chill.
Scott and his family have recently opened a new ice cream parlor called Sprinkles Paradise Treats on Mahan Drive where you can literally chill with ice cream cones and cups, elaborate sundaes and shakes or grab some Lucky Goat coffee, doughnuts, hot dogs and old-fashioned chili dogs.
And yes, the Flowers know there’s a pandemic going on.
“Maybe people need this now,” said Scott. “People always smile when they’re getting ice cream.”
Looking for a way to help kids and their families escape the worries of the day is one factor that helped persuade the Flowers family this was a good time to start their new business. The other was a practical one. The vape shop that formerly occupied the space had moved out and the Flowers own this building along with G. Willies Uniforms located next door.
“We’ve had the franchise for Hershey’s ice cream (not related to the chocolate company) for 15 years,” said Scott. “It’s been an inside joke that one of these days we’d open an ice cream parlor.”
That day came May 8. It’s been a family operation from the start. Scott said his mom Marilyn painted the interior of the shop and she decorates the doughnuts — Sprinkles offers both mini and full-size varieties — and his father John helps with the bookkeeping.
“We wanted to put something fun here,” said Scott, who has two children ages 12 and 13. “Parents can bring their kids and have a place to talk in a laid-back and fun environment. We have a patio outside and no games.”
Sprinkles offers 20 flavors of ice cream, waffle and dipped cones, shakes, cups and sundae combinations called The Exotics including The Cruncher made with peanut butter ice cream or the Monkey Seadoo with butter pecan ice cream, mini doughnuts and bananas. Toppings include Reese’s pieces, Oreo cookies, chocolate chips and of course sprinkles.
My husband and I stopped by over the weekend and picked up a cup of peach ice cream with chunks of peaches and pistachios with bits of nuts, both delicious. I had to get mine with rainbow and chocolate sprinkles. You have a bunch of topping options. We also bought a few doughnuts. Their Lil Orbit mini doughnuts are made with a mixture like pancake batter, generally topped with cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar, and there are also regular-size doughnuts with colorful icing. You can see them come out of the fryer.
Sprinkles offers soft-serve, dairy-free ice cream but the machine was being repaired on our visit. Flowers said he is looking into kosher or Halal toppings.
The Flowers delayed opening Sprinkles six weeks because of the virus but when Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed restaurants to open with social distancing, they decided to go ahead and open.
While it’s Scott’s first ice cream parlor he’s spent years involved with small businesses. A candidate in the Leon County Commission race for the at-large seat, Scott has a long and varied resume.
He is formally an administrator for the Florida Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance’s Bureau of Enforcement, overseeing statewide programs such as inspections for pharmacies, office surgery centers, and investigations involving unlicensed health care providers
Scott is also the founder of Scott Flowers Consulting Group and he’s served as vice president for the non-profit organization One Billion Drops, which seeks to unite and foster partnerships with groups to combat poverty.
An ice cream shop offers families a welcoming family atmosphere,” he said, “It’s a reprieve from all that’s going on.”
Sprinkles is at 1373 Mahan Dr. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. There’s not yet a phone but you can send Sprinkles a Facebook direct message.