HELENA — Cookies and Cream, a new ice cream sandwich shop on Last Chance Gulch, is slated to open up on June 11.
When customers walk in for their ice cream sandwiches and meet the owners, they might be a little surprised. Kayton Belzer and Kali Johns are students at Capital High School headed into their senior year and will run the shop this summer.
Johns said the reasoning behind trying to build this business was to make it the ultimate summer job.
“I'm excited to work with her and just have this experience for us and just know that like, we could do this by ourselves. Obviously, with the help of everyone, but know that this is something we did," said Johns. "In the future, we can look back and just be like, 'Oh, yeah, that was something in high school. We did that and no one else did.'”
The building sat dormant for a handful of years after Cafe Zydeco shed the building's shell and Belzer noted that bringing the building back to a presentable fashion was a bit of a project.
“When we first got this building, it was actually a mess. It was super-old and outdated. So we had to remodel the whole inside of the building," said Belzer. "We had to fix a ton of holes in the walls, we had to paint, we had to get all new appliances and then just get all of our baking supplies and set everything up.”
As for the idea for the business, it came about pretty naturally. "We actually have a really good family friend, her name is Ashley Gideon, and she has a super good cookie recipe," said Belzer. "My dad and other people had seen places like this in other areas, so we thought Helena might need one as well."
Belzer and Johns said that for now, the plan is to set up shop this summer and see how they do before they commit to next summer, but Johns said the fact that they’re actually able to open a business at such a young age is an accomplishment in itself.
“We get to be a part of the community and also I'm excited to learn what it's like doing this because I'm sure we haven't even gotten to the hardest part of this whole business," said Johns. "I think it'll be exciting just to see how much we can do and how far we can get with this.”
Cookies and Cream's grand opening will be on June 11 at 11 a.m. Click here to visit the Facebook page.