A Paducah rolled ice cream shop is going on a new adventure under a new name.
Craving the Curls, formerly Curls and Cream, a boutique dessert shop on Market House Square, announced the name change as well as plans to franchise late last month.
Renee Hayden, owner of the small business, said the team of 17 employees, including her two curly-headed daughters, Kendel and Brecken, is looking forward to expanding outside the Paducah location, hoping to roll into cities such as Lexington, Louisville, St. Louis, Nashville and beyond.
"We're asked on a daily basis if we are a franchise," Hayden said. "Out of town visitors have begged us to open stores in their towns."
At first, Hayden said, the idea of franchising seemed like a very big and scary venture, something she felt she knew nothing about. But after some research and speaking with specialists on the matter, she made the decision to jump in.
"It's been a long and interesting road, but we are finally at the finish line and ready to sell franchises," she said. "We're looking for people who are interested in owning a Craving the Curls franchise."
Since it opened in June of 2017, Hayden said the dessert shop has seen a lot of growth over the past year and is much better and busier than she ever expected it to be.
"This summer we extended our operating hours to five days a week," she said.
One thing that won't be changing, Hayden said, is the daily menu, which includes rolled ice cream in flavors such as S'mores, Strawberry Dream, Oreo, Birthday Cake, Coffee Addict, Peachy Keen, Go Bananas, Plain Jane and Cookie Monster.
The store offers a Flavor of the Week, as well as the option of wrapping rolled ice cream into a puffle, its special dessert cone.
Hayden said the franchise plan will be structured in a way that benefits Paducah.
"The decision to franchise opens up many doors for us as well as the local Paducah businesses we partner with to make us look and taste so great," Hayden said.
A good example, she said, is Pipers Tea and Coffee, which produces the special espresso used in the shop's Coffee Addict flavor on their daily menu. Hayden said Piper's will distribute its espresso to every franchise store.
"Zebra Graphics also handles our graphic design and website," Hayden said. "By us succeeding, so do they."
Hayden said franchising is a risk she's willing to take.
"It's hard to set goals in such a complicated food market," she said. "But rolled ice cream is a booming industry right now, and we are at the forefront of it. I truly believe we have a quality product serviced in an interesting way."
When asked about the most common comments the shop receives from out-of-town visitors, Hayden said it's always the same request: open a Craving the Curls in their town.
"We feel that Craving the Curls brings a quality dessert to Paducah," Hayden said. "This is a product that can only be found in handful of places across the U.S."
For franchise opportunities, visit the shop's site at cravingthecurls.com/franchise.