By: Jane Ma
Spad’s Twisters Soft Serve Ice Cream recently reopened after closing for December and January.
Joe Spadafore opened the Twisters at 327 South Waverly in 2005. Spadafore graduated from Albion College in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and management. Two years after graduating, Joe Spadafore bought his first ice cream store with his brother Nick Spadafore in Perry, Mich.
“Our father, Frank Spadafore, was always in the restaurant and food business,” Nick Spadafore said. “We learned a lot from him and knew we wanted to follow in his footsteps by becoming our own boss. We have always loved going out for ice cream so we thought that it would be a fun little business.”
Since then, the Spadafore brothers have opened eight ice cream stores in Michigan, including six Twisters locations. The Spadafore brothers are franchising their Spad’s Twisters brand and will open their first franchised location in Parchment, Mich. this spring.
“We are in the process of creating a slogan and television commercial for our Spad’s Twister’s franchise and are planning to have it aired on a local Lansing channel by this summer,” said Nick Spadafore.
The brothers rely on word of mouth and creating brand awareness through community sponsorship and donation.
“We don’t do a whole lot of advertising; instead we sponsor local organizations and donate our gift cards to charity,” Joe Spadafore said. We believe in giving back to the community that supports us and we think that our service and the quality of our product will speak for itself.”
Spad’s Twisters in Lansing Township is the busiest location. It goes through 250 to 300 gallons of soft serve per week during the summer months.
The Lansing Township Spad’s is also one of their two locations that has a drive-thru and sells hot dogs.
“The hot dogs are very popular,” Joe Spadafore said. “People like to order hot dogs and then order soft serve. We use Koegel brand hot dogs and offer a special of 99 cent Hot Dogs on Tuesdays.”
The soft serve is a premium grade secret recipe produced for Spad’s by a Michigan based ice cream company.
“We always get compliments on how creamy and rich our soft serve is,” Joe Spadafore said. “The texture is much smoother and has less air compared to other soft serves. We also have a non-fat, no sugar added, vanilla frozen yogurt option for our more health conscious customers.”
The most ordered item is their classic “Twister” which is a combination of vanilla and chocolate soft serve.
“Besides our Twister, the most popular selections on our menu would be our specialty items of the Trash Can Sundae followed by the Reese’s Cup Sundae,” Joe Spadafore said. “The Trash Can Sundae consists of a vanilla soft serve with a mix of Oreos, cookie dough, M&M’s, and Reese’s. The sundae is then topped with whipped cream and 2 gummy worms, all served in a novelty trash can cup and lid.”
Another favorite by customers is their “Flavor Burst” option which injects different flavors into vanilla soft serve.
“I like the ‘Flavor Burst’ choices, and my son likes everything,” said Lansing Township resident Barb Shasteen. “I come back here cause prices are good, the service is quick, everything tastes fresh, and it’s close to home.”
Currently, the South Waverly Spad’s is looking to hire. Anyone interested in working at Spad’s can download an application off their website or go into the store for an application.
“Most of our applicants are high school or college age students, but we welcome anybody who wants to work for us,” Joe Spadafore said. “Working at Spad’s is a lot of fun and we strive to create a positive experience for all of our customers. We also believe in treating all of our employees well and we trust that they will do a good job.”
“Now, 13 years after opening our first ice cream business, we are looking forward to franchising Spad’s Twisters to many more locations throughout Michigan and continue expanding outwards,” Joe Spadafore said.
Twister’s is open 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily for the month of February and will return to its normal business hours of noon to 10 p.m in March.