Fort Lauderdale Jan. 26,2016 – When Kilwins Ice Cream, Chocolates & Fudge opened on Las Olas on January 2, 1995, it was a welcome addition to the mix of restaurants, art galleries and specialty retailers. Actually, it became an overnight success and has just gotten even more popular over the ensuing two-decades. One reason, of course, is that once locals discovered the ice cream, chocolates, fudge and other yummy treats, they came back… often! And for visitors who return to Fort Lauderdale for their yearly vacations, Kilwins is on their “must visit” list of destinations. Kilwins is at 809 East Las Olas.
Another special anniversary was November 28th when the business was bought by Bill Renaud on that date in 2010. Today, Bill focuses on marketing, training & vision while Stephen Shuster is the Operations Manager. Stephen has been an important member of the “Las Olas family” for more than a decade, having served on the Board of Directors of the Las Olas Association and having worked at a restaurant and a retail store before coming to Kilwins as Manager for former owners Michael & Bonnie Sibner. Stephen is the person that makes it all work at Kilwins Las Olas. He has put together a great team that focuses on Customers First!
A quick look at various social media sites confirms what legions of fans all agree on… that Kilwins “… has the best ice cream on the planet!” One news reporter waxed enthusiastic about their shakes, writing that “… the double-chocolate shake at Kilwin’s on Las Olas bypasses the half-(x?#) — and some would say, incorrect — method of using vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Instead, the shake is the straight-up good stuff: chocolate ice cream blended with chocolate syrup. Pair that with amazing fudge, awesome chocolates, and a huge selection of ice cream – it’s like putting a kid in a candy shop — a gourmet candy shop.”
Even before you step inside to be greeted by their friendly staff, the wafting aroma of fresh, hand rolled waffle cones will pull you back to a time when customer service meant going the extra mile to make each customer feel special. This tradition is still evident today. With an assortment of over a hundred different confections, both old fashioned and newly invented to choose from, Kilwins is a unique blend of old school charm and customer service with modern sensibilities.
“We hand make all of our chocolates and treats, and any time of day, you can drop by and watch one of our chocolatiers or master fudge makers whip up a wide selection of different confections,” Stephen enthused. From classics such as pretzels and marshmallows to the exotic, like Twinkies and sliced oranges, Kilwin’s chocolatiers work during the day to coat everything you could possibly imagine in our rich milk, dark and white chocolate.
In addition to stopping by Kilwins, there are other ways you can enjoy their ice cream. A case in point is their “Ice Cream Socials,” for those times when you are having a special event and you just have to have the best. Kilwins offers a catering service where they bring the best ice cream to you in their colorful ice cream cart, along with a toppings bar and waffle station so you can have the full Kilwins experience. Perfect for a wedding, birthday party, religious celebration, corporate or scholastic function. On a smaller scale, Kilwins offer an ice cream server, where you can choose a single flavor of ice cream, delivered in a specially designed server to keep the ice cream cold as well as all the spoons, cups, napkins and scoops you need to make your function a hit.
Wait… wait… there’s more! If ice cream isn’t what you have in mind, Kilwins can also cater your event with a variety of custom made chocolate treats, including their own creations, such as Turtle Puffs, Caramel Smores, Nutterbutters, chocolate pretzels and more; scaling them down to bite size pieces for your guests to enjoy. A perfect ending to a fabulous dinner or birthday party. A simpler but equally tasty option is custom created platters of any treat offered in the store.
A unique program they have is their popular field trips, where groups of 12 to 25 arrive in the morning before business hours. There’s a brief lecture on the history of chocolate, methods of chocolate production, and a chocolate tasting session. Then everyone is invited to make some of their own confections, which can be taken home. Designed for all ages, from senior groups looking for a unique experience, to school children looking for a delicious field trip, the Kilwins’ Experience is not to be missed!
Oh yes, Kilwins has become the go-to-store for gifts for just about every occasion. “We have some popular standard gift items and gift baskets for holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and special occasions,” Bill explained. “For this year, we have created some really special gifts for Valentine’s day. Including Solid Chocolate gift boxes where you can select your own handmade chocolate to put inside” With Easter just around the corner, you might want to consider their Easter Baskets which is filled with everything from Easter Bunnies to Kilwins own bunny ears, or bunny tail, as always they will customize any gift basket to meet your personal needs. “Chocolate is the gift that is never returned!” Bill quipped.