Today we’d like to introduce you to Bobby and Michelle Barton, owners of Southern Ice Cream located in Stafford TX.
Before we jump into specifics about your business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was a property manager for 15 years when my Father-in-law asked if I would be willing to learn the Ice Cream Business and buy the company from him and my Mother-in-law. They were getting close to 70 and wanted to retire. I gave my company my two weeks notice the following Monday. My Wife had been working for Southern since we moved to Houston in 2007 plus she was familiar with Ice Cream since she was raised by her Step-Father Mike Johnston who had been in the Dairy Business for 40+ years. Mike passed away in February of 2015 and Michelle and I have been running Southern Since then. Michelle and I made it official and purchased the company in January of 2016.
Can you tell us some of your challenges you’ve had to overcome on your journey to starting your own business?
There are always challenges, the weather is one of the things we have no control over and therefore provides one of our biggest challenges. We are blessed by being in Houston because we have such warm weather so we don’t typically shut down in the winter but in the summer when our busy season is in full stride we tend to get a lot of rain which slows us down on the flip side of that when it too hot most people tend to stay inside making it more difficult for drivers to sell Ice Cream. Another obstacle we encounter is that with all the tech available to kids these days they tend to play outside less making them less likely to stop an Ice Cream truck.
Let’s talk business! Tell us about Southern Ice Cream.
Since 1977, Southern Ice Cream has been a pioneer of mobile ice cream vending in the southern region of Texas. We are proud to be a Texas-based, female-owned family business. As the company nears its 40-year anniversary, we continue to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and resources for success in mobile ice cream vending.
Southern Ice Cream also provides ice cream party rentals and catering. We make special events memorable and tasty with umbrella push cart rentals, ice cream truck rentals, and ice cream sundae parties. Ice cream socials are a great option for corporate events, private parties, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, customer appreciation, employee rewards, and marketing… everything is a little more fun with ice cream!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to your success?
I think the biggest thing contributing to our success is our focus on the customer and the customer service we provide. The customer is the reason we have a business and we strive to provide them with the best service possible. We focus on this across all channels of business. The Ice Cream Truck drivers can always count on us to help them keep their trucks up to date and looking good with all the new decals and safety stickers. Our Special Events customers can always count on us to be on time and willing to set up wherever they want with a smile. And our school customers know we will do whatever it takes to make sure they get what they ordered.
Get in touch with Bobby and Michelle:
Southern Ice Cream
13755 Greenland Dr
Stafford, Texas 77477