Penguin Paradice, a popular location for shaved ice treats in Arkansas City, will soon have a permanent home.
The business currently operates from a small trailer located behind the former Phil-Stop convenience store at 1009 N. Summit St., which closed more than a year ago.
Owner Triston Rich said when he moved to that spot, he was given the option of renting space on the parking lot, or renting the building.
“It wasn’t that much more, so we looked at it for quite awhile to see if it would be feasible, with the renovation costs,” he said.
Rich said he wanted to have a facility with indoor seating to go with the existing outdoor seating. He hopes the permanent store will extend his selling season by allowing him to open earlier in the year and stay open later. It also would make weather less of an issue.
“When it’s raining, we can still be open,” he said. “If it is 100 outside and you don’t want to sit at the plastic tables, you can sit in air conditioning.”
He said the games, such as cornhole, connect four, and several others would still be located behind the building for customers to enjoy.
Rich said sales typically drops off in August when school is back in session. He plans to remain open as long as there are enough customers to make it worthwhile. He’s also exploring additional possibilities.
“We have so much space, I’d love to host events here,” he said.
And he is considering more products such as ice cream treats and cotton candy.
“It would be a desert shop,” he said. “One operation with multiple lines.”
Rich lives in Manhattan, Kan. and has one more semester to complete at KSU. His sisters, Taryn, senior at Ark City High School, and Tayeah, a freshman, have been running the business.
“We’ll have to start working around school schedules and activities,” he said.
Rich said he hopes to be working out of the new location in a couple of weeks. Finding time to do the renovation work has been a problem. He also works in Manhattan at Menards. His father, Ken, is helping but his time is also limited.
“We’ve done all of this framing, drywall and cabinet work during the last 36 hours,” he added.
Rich said that while he will be using the building, Mike Grove of Grove Oil and LP Gas would continue to operate the gas pumps.
“The pumps will still be active,” he said. “But we won’t run any gas money through here.”