Marc and Andrea Yeida of Herculaneum were so impressed when they stopped at a Dippin’ Dots ice cream shop during a family vacation they decided to look into opening one of their own.
The couple's plans will come to fruition next week when they open their Dippin’ Dots-Doc Popcorn shop at 1232 Commercial Blvd. (Hwy. 61-67) in Herculaneum, in a part of the building formerly occupied by a resale shop.
“We’ll open for a couple hours, possibly, Monday night (Sept. 16) and for regular hours Tuesday,” Marc Yeida, 43, said.
Andrea is 33.
Dippin’ Dots are described by the parent company as “flash frozen tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and flavored ice products.”
People should be familiar with Dippin’ Dots ice cream from places like amusement parks and other attractions, Marc Yeida said.
“It’s been sold at the St. Louis Zoo, Grant’s Farm and Busch Stadium,” he said. “I believe there are a couple malls up north that have them.”
Yeida said those familiar with Dippin’ Dots products from the ballpark and other attractions may be surprised at the wide variety of items the he and his wife will sell in their shop.
“We’re going to have about 17 flavors, give or take one or two,” he said. “Dippin’ Dots will do seasonal flavors, so we’ll rotate some flavors. And, unlike Busch Stadium or Grant’s Farm that only serve basic Dippin’ Dots, we’ll have sundaes, floats and shakes.
“The top four Dippin’ Dots flavors are banana split, cookies and cream, rainbow ice – which is like a rainbow sherbet – and cotton candy. A seasonal one we’ll have is going to be pumpkin pie.”
Yeida said Dippin’ Dots acquired Doc Popcorn, so both products will be sold at the Herculaneum location.
“We’re popping our own gourmet popcorn,” he said. “It’s found in malls. They have 12 different flavors. Some of the out-of-the-ordinary flavors are apple crisp, cheese and caramel, choco-mint crunch and hoppin’ Jalapeno.
“We have a caramelizer in back. We’ll be caramelizing our own popcorn.”
A drive-up window will be available.
The Yeidas owned the Crystal Tavern in Crystal City for about eight years before selling it to Mike and Heather Perez about a year-and-a-half ago.
Yeida said he and his wife got the idea to open a new business a couple of years ago.
“We were vacationing in Gulf Shores, Ala., with the family and found a little Dippin’ Dots store there,” he recalled. “My children loved it. They’re a novelty item. They’re fun.
“That started the whole idea.”
The Yeidas have three children: son Mason, 8, and daughters Quin, 6, and Piper, 2.
Yeida said his family owns the building and the new shop will be housed in one third of it. The family will rent out the other two spaces in the building.
“They’re all about 2,000-square feet,” he said.
The Dippin’ Dots-Doc Popcorn shop will have seating for 24 and four video games, Yeida said.
“We want to eventually host children’s birthday parties,” he said.
Yeida said the operation is starting with five employees working for the Yeidas.
“We’ll start with five and add as needed,” he said.
Yeida said sampling will be encouraged at the business.
“We like to let people sample before they buy,” he said. “That goes for ice cream and popcorn.”
The store will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Other than next week, the business will be closed on Mondays.