Following the closure of Mely’s Yogurt & Ice Cream after decades at Corinth Square, a new spot for frozen treats is gearing up to open at the highly trafficked Corinth Square corner.
Curtis Thurston said he plans to open Summer Salt Ice Cream Co., 4051 Somerset Drive, by the end of this month — though he’s keeping an eye on government guidance related to the coronavirus. Opening a new ice cream shop during the pandemic poses its own challenges, Thurston said, but he remains hopeful that the community will support local shops and restaurants. And he thinks there’s an added benefit to his Corinth Square location.
“[Mely] was serving kids 35 years ago who are now adults and bring their kids back, [keeping] that tradition going in the same location is pretty cool — not many businesses last 35 years,” Thurston said.
Thurston, a Shawnee Mission native who has worked in the hospitality and restaurant industries in San Francisco and internationally, said he and his wife Amy Thurston — whose interior design company is handling Summer Salt Ice Cream’s interiors — are making customer service the number one priority for Summer Salt Ice Cream. Aside from warm welcomes and exemplary service, Curtis said the goal is to offer high quality, homemade ice cream.
“Seeing how a fresh coat of paint and moving more toward using local ingredients whenever possible and making [the ice cream] in-house, the customer is going to see a much higher quality product that leaves more nuances in the ice cream than what you can get from just a wholesaler,” he said.
Summer Salt Ice Cream’s menu will include homemade ice cream, soft serve, shakes, floats, sundaes and baked goods that complement the ice cream. The shop will use vanilla from Liberty, Missouri, company Sava Trading Co., and also continue Mely’s partnership with Andre’s Chocolates, Curtis said. Curtis, who is a trained chef, said he’s been testing out flavors for a year now, but Summer Salt will feature staple flavors like vanilla and chocolate.
“There’s definitely vanilla people and chocolate people: Something someone is going to love, others might see as crazy,” Curtis said. “[With] my culinary background and working internationally — being able to tour different cuisines and spices from around the world — hopefully [I’ll] be able to carry over different ice creams I can try here as well.”
Although the idea came prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Curtis said a new walk-up window will allow for limited contact transactions once Summer Salt Ice Cream opens. Additionally, the outdoor space at Corinth Square will help customers who wish to continue to socially distance do so, he said.