While Dairy Queen closed in Williamsburg in October 2018, locals shouldn’t fear because their ice cream fix is being answered.
Kraig Ware is the owner of the Toano shaved ice and ice cream business, SnoMania Island. Ware said the business has gained a following in the area and after three years of operation, he decided it was time to open a second location.
“We are all about joy and providing incredible service,” Ware said. “It’s been a positive community experience and a family environment in Toano and we are ready to spread that to Williamsburg.”
Ware said the business is expected to open in its second location around April 15, but the SnoMania’s social media will be updated with an exact date once it is decided.
“We are excited to watch a local businessman not be constricted by the requirements of a chain and be able to be more creative,” said Mark Campbell, owner of the building.
The Dairy Queen has been at the location on Bypass Road for more than 20 years and when it closed, Ware just so happened to be considering opening a new location.
While the current location in Toano has a similar amount of space at around 900 square feet, he said, thie location on Bypass Road will create a different setting and opportunity for the business. One of the biggest changes is that SnoMania will be able to offer a drive-through service for customers.
Currently the location in Toano is open for seasonal operation, meaning that during the winter months it is closed. Ware said the second location will operate similarly, but will most likely have longer open seasons because it is closer to so many tourist attractions.
Additionally, the business will introduce new products such as cold coffees that Ware hopes will help provide customers with a greater variety of options.
But Ware is just excited to spread his vision even further. In fact, this year is the first year he stepped down from his full-time job to run the business.
“When you take that leap and the paychecks stop coming, it’s scary,” he said. “But when God opens a door, you walk through it and experience what he is going to provide.”
When Ware opened his original location in 2017, he did it with his children in mind. As the father of three sons between the ages of 12 and 17, Ware felt it was time to provide an opportunity where they could learn about work ethic.
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He said the business seemed like a perfect way to do so because it combined something he loved from his childhood along with a way to teach his children life lessons.
In addition to his children working at the location, Ware said his staff is generally younger and that provides him the chance to teach them the art of business.
“I think with anything you do, when you create or curate, you want to do a good job,” he said. “And you want to fulfill the passions you’re created for, but to be able to teach others that passion and see their full potential is amazing.”
In addition, the business runs a campaign called “Sno the Globe” where a meal is donated to Feed My Starving Children, an organization that provides nutritious meals for children across the globe, for every shaved ice and ice cream sold. Last year, SnoMania donated more than 19,000 meals and Ware is excited to donate even more.
“We are just excited to spread that impact into our local community,” Ware said. “This new location will give us a chance for impact, but also to have a little fun.”