Welcome to The Forum’s Business Owner Highlight Series! Meet our incredible business owners through these insightful interviews sharing how their business originated, its specialties, and personal anecdotes. Enjoy!
1. What is your full name, title, and the name of your business?
Wes Bechtel. My wife, Kristen, and I are the owners of Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream.
2. What is the background story of your business? What was it that inspired you to start it?
Kristen and I were both working desk jobs that we disliked while raising two young daughters. We both felt like there had to be something better out there and I had always dreamed of owning a homemade ice cream shop, especially in a beach town. I felt like I had a decision to make: continue working a job that I grew to dislike more each day, or take a chance and see what happens. In May of 2015, Kristen and I both left our jobs and in June we traded in our keyboards and desk phones for ice cream scoops and waffle irons.
3. What does your business specialize in?
Boombalatti’s specializes in super delicious, ultra-premium, homemade ice cream. Our goal is to make the absolute best ice cream in the world and we do that by focusing on the ingredients we use (like dairy from grass-fed NC dairy cows, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, local fruit when in season, etc.) and making every batch ourselves daily to make sure it’s as fresh and delicious as possible. In fact, on busy summer days, we sometimes make ice cream three times a day just to keep up with demand.
4. What brings you the greatest joy in managing/owning this business?
Besides eating ice cream whenever I want? Building relationships with our staff, our customers, and other business owners in Wilmington are very fulfilling. In my last job, I was very far removed from customers and even most of my coworkers, so it’s nice to be able to interact daily with the people that make our business successful.
5. What’s one fun fact about your business that most people don’t know about?
Every fact about an ice cream shop is a fun fact! The question I probably get asked the most is “Do you still like ice cream?” The answer is YES. I eat ice cream nearly every day. The only reason I don’t eat it every day is that I have barely an ounce of self-control. I’d eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could and would never get sick of it.
6. Why do you believe it’s important to shop local?
Shopping local has such a major impact on our community. When you purchase something from us, you are supporting our family directly, our employees and their families, our suppliers and their families, etc. The impact from a customer local stretches within a pretty tight circle here in Wilmington and North Carolina and I think that’s really important.