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Mobile ice cream trailer gets permanent C-Falls home

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | April 10, 2022 12:00 AM

Jessie and Duane Schrade have the scoop on running a small business.

Jessie Schrade previously worked in a chiropractor’s office, and Duane’s background is in information technology. Neither of them ever anticipated owning an ice cream shop, but the pair opened Cup O’ Soul ice cream shop on Nucleus Avenue in Columbia Falls on Thursday.

Last year while thinking about the legacy they wanted to leave their six children, they decided they wanted to run a coffee kiosk. They couldn’t find a coffee kiosk that was available, but instead they found Farm to Table Ice Cream, a mobile concessions trailer based in Bigfork.

The Schrades and their family vended from the mobile trailer throughout the summer, and in the fall a permanent space opened up in downtown Columbia Falls. Schrade said as soon as she saw the building, she was sure it was the right fit for the family business.

“I walked in and knew this was the place,” Schrade said.

LC Staffing most recently occupied the space before Cup O’ Soul moved in.

The Schrades bought the shop in November 2021 and spent the winter renovating it.

The remodel took a little longer than expected because Schrade had a specific vision she wanted to bring to life in the space.

“We want it to be like you’re going into grandma’s house,” Schrade said.

She also hopes the Cup O’ Soul shop serves as a gathering space, particularly for young people. Schrade said she would like the ice cream shop to transcend sweet treats to create a positive impact on the community.

“Our dream is to help people help kids,” Schrade said. “There’s a lot of need in the valley for kids.”

She would like to provide mentorship and a positive atmosphere for the younger generation through her family’s ice cream shop.

“I feel this is just the venue that’s going to offer that,” she said.

Schrade wants Cup O’ Soul to serve as a community space while also serving up tasty homemade ice cream.

The Schrades personally make all of their ice cream, treats and toppings.

Cup O’ Soul carries nine flavors, including Flathead cherry, milk and cookies and farmhouse chocolate. Wild huckleberry and cinnamon honey are two of the most popular choices at the ice cream shop, Schrade said.

Visitors also love the coconut topping on the wild huckleberry ice cream, which started as an accident when Schrade was trying to make macarons.

Although the French pastry didn’t work out that time, Cup O’ Soul offers baked goods like banana bread, cookies and brownies.

The shop also provides espresso drinks, and Schrade said she wants to add milkshakes, homemade waffle cones and more toppings.

“I want to keep it all homemade,” Schrade stressed. “…I don’t want to be like everybody else.”

Going forward, Schrade plans on maintaining the mobile trailer while also getting the Nucleus Avenue shop off the ground.

The goal, she said, is to bring happiness to ice cream enthusiasts all around the valley. Cup O’ Soul’s smiley face logo was inspired by Schrade’s sister, who passed away, and she wants to carry that positivity into her new business.

“It’s about keeping that memory alive,” Schrade said.

Cup O’ Soul ice cream is located at 638 Nucleus Avenue. Summer hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Cup O’ Soul can be found on Facebook and Instagram @farmtotableicecream.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.

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Cup O' Soul offers wholesale ice cream and bulk ice cream to go (JP Edge).

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A new ice cream shop, Cup O' Soul, opened on Columbia Falls' Nucleus Avenue on Thursday (JP Edge).

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Cup O' Soul not only carries ice cream, but also espresso drinks and baked goods (JP Edge).