As owner of the building space in its location, he wanted to take his own shot at bringing the frozen treat back to town.

“Factory Flavors.” That’s the name of the game for Shannon Imler and his journey into creating Eldon’s latest edition, The Ice Cream Factory. Housed in what was previously the Kraft Cheese Factory and more recently Bailey’s Ice Cream, the name is a play on what used to be. Now, Imler is focusing on creating a modern location for fresh ice cream and a number of in-house flavors. 

After Bailey’s closed, Imler said he could feel a sense of loss in the community. As owner of the building space in its location, he wanted to take his own shot at bringing the frozen treat back to town.

“I was looking for renters for the building, then a lightbulb went off,” Imler said. “I really thought we could do it.” 

Imler says he has been working alongside the previous manager of Bailey’s to come up with a reinvigorated look at what a local ice cream store could be. This came in the form of experimenting with not only flavors, but also how the inside of the store would look. To locals used to the look of what came before, the refreshed look will likely be a shock.

One of the dominant themes throughout the store is the color scheme of black and white. Imler says this design choice was intentional. He says that because so much of the interior has these two colors, the bright, playful colors of the ice cream become the center of attention to the eye. With a background in construction, Imler and his team were able to modify the existing property into the ice cream shoppe that he had envisioned from the start.

“Big, bold, black and white, that’s what I’d say,” Imler said. 

Of course, the promise of in-house, factory flavors is where Imler has put a big portion of his time since conceiving the store’s concept. In the back of the store, the Ice Cream Factory has a creation station for staff where Imler and his team will use a purchased ice cream base out of Pacific, MO to mix and match flavor into a plethora of combinations. This is something he sees setting the Ice Cream Factory apart from many of the other choices not only in Eldon but around the lake. 

Some of the flavors patrons can expect include the classic Cookie Monster, Coconut Almond Paradise, Magic Charms, Blackberry Cobbler and much more. Imler says flavors will alternate over time, introducing new concepts as they go. 

On top of the assortment of in-house flavors available over the counter, Imler wants to bring a modern sense of delivery to locals by offering custom orders through an app that will be available for pick up. Imler has also purchased an old VW Bus that he has plans to incorporate into the store. And, of course, there will be a drive-up option for those on the go. 

Imler hopes that the unique flavors will bring people in to try for themselves. He says that the store will be open year round and wants this year’s opening to be a showcase for what they have to offer. The Ice Cream Factory opens on April 5 and can be found at 3 South Mill St in Eldon.