Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream pushes to make 2,000 gallons of treats per week picked up at 13 locations – Orlando Sentinel
Connor and Courtney Bishop take their 5-year-old son to Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream almost weekly for the store’s blue “Cookie Monster” ice cream.
The Bishop family visits Kelly’s original store on Corrine Drive, which opened in 2015, but there are now 13 locations across Florida where families can get Kelly’s treats.
“Every flavor is great, but it’s just a wonderful experience coming to Kelly’s,” said Connor Bishop, 28, of Orlando. “We joke about the well-kept secrets of all food places, but you want to see local places succeed.”
Kelly’s expansion is largely due to a partnership with the Foxtail Coffee chain which includes eight Kellys that are at Foxtail locations. One in Clermont opened Thursday attached to an existing Foxtail.
Ten to 15 more are planned for this year, said Foxtail co-founder and president Alex Tchekmeian.
“I think the sky is the limit,” Chekmeian said.
The first of the combined locations with Foxtail, which Kelly’s website calls “counters,” opened in 2021 off Howell Branch Road near Winter Park.
For Winter Park-based Foxtail, Kelly’s is giving stores another option to attract customers as the coffee trade slows in the afternoon and early evening, Tchekmeian said.
With Foxtail now in Georgia, Kelly’s husband-and-wife owners Kelly and Scott Seidl said they’re ready to bring their ice cream there if Foxtail wants to offer it in that state.
Tchekmeian said bringing Kelly’s outside of Florida will depend on transporting the product so it isn’t jeopardized, as well as bringing more stores online in Georgia.
“The quality of the ice cream comes first,” he said.
The partnership allows Kelly to focus on “making ice cream,” Scott Seidl said. All that ice cream is still made at the Corrine Drive store, no matter where it ends up being picked up.
Kelly’s now makes more than 2,000 gallons a week, up from around 600 when they just had their Corrine Drive and Ferncreek Avenue stores in Orlando and their third store in Oviedo, which opened in 2019.
“When we had maybe the three stores, we made ice cream four to five days a week, but now we make ice cream seven days a week,” Kelly Seidl said.
Kelly’s had five employees when it opened its Corrine Drive store. Today, the ice cream business has nearly 100 employees, Kelly Seidl said.
That’s not counting the staff at the eight partner-run Kelly’s in Foxtail stores as far-flung as St. Petersburg and Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville.
Kelly plans to move production to a site that will not have a retail outlet early next year, but will still make ice cream at the Corrine Drive store.
“It will probably be like [a research and development] test the kitchen and maybe we’ll bring some groups…to show them how it’s done,” Kelly Seidl said of the Corrine Drive site. “We always want to keep this kitchen active.”
Cold treats are also still being delivered to all stores by Kelly staff, but an outside company will eventually be contracted for shipping, Scott Seidl said.
The Seidls, who are also a growing family expecting their third child in October, have another big dream: to one day open a Kelly dairy farm.
Or as Scott Seidl put it, “So we go from cow to cone.”