“Can we go to Cups & Cones?” I hear this phrase at least three times a week, and often times I give in. Truth is, I enjoy going almost as much as my kids. They love the ice cream, but even to them it’s not just about the sweet treats. It’s a social place, a community gathering spot that welcomes everyone.
There’s a lot to love about Cups & Cones, and you don’t have to eat ice cream every time you visit—but you can. Here are 6 reasons why you can eat more ice cream (or other yummy treats) and know that you’ll be supporting one of our favorite local businesses in the Lake Travis area.
1). True Community Partner – Cups & Cones supports the Steiner Ranch and Lake Travis community in countless ways. They devote their time and resources to important causes, sponsoring local events and organizations and assisting whenever they can. The shop acts as a donation site for multiple non-profit organizations throughout the year, making a difference in outreach programs across the area.
In addition, they support local small businesses by selling handmade goods in their shop. The walls are covered with artwork from local artists, many of them children. Just this week The Four Points News ran a front page article about their dedication to Leander ISD’s SELF 30 program (Skills for Enhancing Lifelong Fulfillment). There many examples of how Cups & Cones supports the community.
2). Programs and Events – Cups & Cones is more than a place to have coffee or ice cream. It’s a true gathering spot, where different clubs or organizations meet regularly. They often host events such as Rainbow Loom club, Homework Help, Bible studies, typing classes and more. They offer story times and camps in the summer. Cups & Cones supports many clubs and organizations by providing a convenient, safe and fun place to meet.
3). Mr. Rudy! – If you’ve never seen the local legend Mr. Rudy perform, do yourself a favor and pop in Thursday or Friday mornings at 10:15. His Music and Story Times are geared toward preschooler, but I swear the parents have just as much fun.
Mr. Rudy is an amazingly talented artist with a special knack for entertaining children. It’s inspiring and entertaining to watch. He takes the time to learn each child’s name and keeps them laughing with hilarious impressions and over-the-top expressions. In the summer he hosts camps at Cups & Cones where he coaches children and, most importantly, increases their confidence. I love, love, love Mr. Rudy and am grateful that Cups & Cones brings him to us two days a week.
4). Owners and Staff Make you Feel Like Family – I don’t know owners Rick and Kristi Nordin personally, but somehow I feel like I do. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Every time I walk in to Cups & Cones I’m greeted like family. No matter who is scooping the ice cream or making the drinks, you’re treated with respect.
The other day my daughter had a five-minute conversation with the owner. She told him all about her class at school, our new pet bunny and other miscellaneous tidbits important to a six year old. No doubt he had a million other things to do, but he took the time to chat with her and seemed genuinely interested in what she had to say. They care about their customers—even the littlest ones. You can’t fake that.
5). Cups, Cones and More – I’ve gone on and on about the wonderful things Cups & Cones does for the community, but I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that it truly is a “coffee and ice cream café.” The Blue Bell Ice Cream is a favorite with the kids, but if you’re not in the mood for ice cream or coffee there are plenty of other choices. Delicious breakfast tacos, kolaches, pastries, sandwiches, paninis and more. There’s a little something for everyone no matter the time of day.
6). It’s Sort of Like Cheers – Well, except there’s no beer on tap. And no Norm. And there’s usually lots of kids. But otherwise, you get that same feeling of having a comfortable, go-to spot where everybody knows your name. It’s a local gathering place, a home away from home. Almost every time we go we see someone we know—a friend from school, a neighbor, a coach.
And even if we don’t really know the other patrons, it still feels like home. On any given day you’ll see toddlers with sticky faces, kids gathering after soccer practice, teenagers doing homework, a ladies’ book club, and a business meeting all under the same roof. It’s truly a community place where everyone is welcome.
Steiner Ranch is lucky to have Cups & Cones in the community.