The third Sunday in July is known as National Ice Cream Day, and this year, Waterford Lakes got a sweet new addition to its store lineup when Bruster’s Ice Cream opened this past Sunday. Bruster’s Ice Cream is well known for its delicious homemade treats that are made right in the store, with a wide range of flavors from every-day to seasonal favorites.
The idea to open a Bruster’s in the Waterford area started more than a year ago when Linda Kroeplin decided to take the next step in opening her own business. With her store across from the Waterford Lakes Town Center, Kroeplin believes that she chose the best location for her business with the big mix of people, from college students to families, found there.
“Originally, the idea of opening a Bruster’s came from my father,” she said. “He really likes the products, he likes the ice cream and then I live in this area, so I wanted to have my store in the area that I lived in.”
Along with the ice cream, this store is serving up another long-time favorite for Americans of all ages: Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. With a menu that includes chicken tenders and french fries, Kroeplin hopes that the store will appeal to the average college-aged person who lives life on the go.
“When you’re hanging out at the Waterford Lakes, it’s [Bruster’s] just another option of something to have to eat for lunch or dinner,” she said. “It’s a little quicker, so it’s not so much of a sit-down thing.”
The idea for the combination of both Bruster’s and Nathan’s came from Kroeplin’s son Kyle, an incoming UCF junior who is majoring in criminal justice.
“We were going to open just a Bruster’s, but I thought, first of all, why not?" said Kyle Kroeplin, also the store manager. “Bruster’s and Nathan’s usually franchise together if the franchise chooses to do so. But I like the feature that we could have food [and] dessert — you could come in here and get a meal then get dessert after.”
With everything made from scratch right at the store, he hopes that they will be able to continue making good food, which leads to the present-day goal of making everyone happy with a menu that is reasonably priced and perfect for anyone who doesn’t like to wait.
“I expect to see a lot of business because we’re getting well known, and I just think it’s going to be a good experience for everybody,” employee Gabby Gordon said. “I think that we kind of appeal to kids and younger people.”
Although the store is now getting its name out with the new location, owner Linda Kroeplin doesn’t plan on stopping here.
“I am working with UCF to either get a small kiosk for some of their events, or perhaps a store, and then there’s also the Lake Nona area,” she said. “We have the ability to bring a lot of stuff to an event and either set up something permanently at UCF or temporarily for their events.”
Customer Joan Phelps was happy to find out that a Bruster’s would be opening in the area after being very familiar with Nathan’s Hot Dogs and Coney Island in New York from her youth and wanted to lend her support.
“Having the frontage on Alafaya is a good location, and although there are other fast food restaurants in the area, I think this is a nice spot for this,” Phelps said. “I hope they do very well.”
Phelps’ husband, Tony, noted that this wasn’t their first time at this establishment.
“This is our second time here,” Tony said, referring to the store’s weekend grand opening.
“Plus, we’re ex-New Yorkers; we’d like to come here often.”