It’s difficult to improve on something as close to perfection as ice cream, but Chuck Woodard and Daniel Golik seem to be doing just that with their joint business venture Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream, which opened in September and has been a smashing success.
Their proclivity for industry is nothing new. Graduates of Westminster Christian School, the two young men seemed destined for entrepreneurial careers. Woodard graduated valedictorian in 2010 and is pursuing a degree at the University of Miami. He started his own tee-shirt company, Fresh Don’t Fly, while he was in high school. Similarly, Golik still runs his online audio products store, Neuhaus Labs, which he started in college.
“Having come from a family that always encouraged entrepreneurship, I’ve enjoyed the challenges and rewards of startups from a very young age,” says Golik.
When Woodard discovered a fresh angle on an old standard, using nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream resulting in smaller crystals that create incredibly smooth ice cream, he knew he had come across an excellent business opportunity.
“I was confident we could create a premium product and develop a revolutionary brand,” he says.
Woodard approached Golik, whom he became friends with on a school-related mission trip.
“Chuck’s idea to use liquid nitrogen seemed like it could develop into a great concept and having worked briefly in food and beverage, I was very interested in developing it with him,” says Golik.
They opened a shop at 8271 SW 124 St. directly across from Pinecrest Park.
“We looked for the right location for a long time,” says Woodard. “Both of us grew up in this area and we felt comfortable marketing to the schools and sports organizations here.” Their shop is a sight to behold. The exterior boasts a large, bold and angular sign above a modern style storefront.
There is plenty of seating inside and out. On the service side of the counter are large, complex-looking machines set up beneath a list of ingredients on the back wall cleverly made to look like the periodic table. When their well-groomed staff custom-makes each order of ice cream, the machines emit steam and make amusing noises, ensuring those who stay to enjoy their ice cream inside have plenty of entertainment.
“We thought in-depth about what we did not like about existing ice cream stores and sought ways to fix the issues,” says Woodard.
“We tried to improve on the traditional ice cream experience from every angle possible.”
It’s not all just an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere and creamier ice cream, however. What’s an ice cream shop without choice? There are endless combinations of all-natural flavors and toppings, from strawberry topped with maraschino cherries and granola to chocolate peanut butter with biscotti and gummy bears. Throw in the option to substitute low-fat frozen yogurt and imagination may be a customer’s only limit.
Looking towards the future, the two friends and business partners seem eager to take on new challenges.
“My advice for up and coming entrepreneurs is to be aware of and try to minimize your risks, but in the end, if you truly believe in it, follow your heart and take the risk in spite of what others may say,” says Woodard.
Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream is open Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. and at 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, go to www.chillnicecream.com, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 786-732-6988.