Tiffany and Brad Franks have lived in Tupelo for most of their lives, and through travels abroad and four kids, the Franks have their roots planted deep.
Following joint real estate careers spanning over a decade, the Franks opened Crave as a weekend/evening dessert destination for the city’s night scene.
This fall, the owners decided to take a different direction again by purchasing two small shaved ice stands to complement Crave.
The 400-square-foot shaved ice stand near the entrance of Ballard Park will feature hot drinks and iced desserts and will be called Fire & Ice.
The stand will feature drinks like cocoa and Crave-baked goods like Fairy Bars and Oreo Brownies, which Tiffany Franks said may bring in customers perusing Christmas lights in the park.
“We want this to bring in an element of the park being an event, and if you can offer food and drink, it makes it much more of an event,” she said.
The 250-square foot stand at Veterans Park will feature snacks, but mainly shaved ice and no hot drinks, and will not be reopened until March.
“We want to make it a 12-month business, not just a seven-month business,” Franks said about having the shaved ice stands open in the colder months.
The Franks bought a new espresso machine for the venture, and with two shaved ice machines and two coolers, they have outfitted the renovated shaved ice stand. They opened the Ballard Park location for the Christmas lighting Thursday.
“We will be adding all of the top selling hot drinks from our Crave menu,” Tiffany said.
Getting the stand ready was not always an easy process.
“We’ve been trying to get the mildew off the vinyl out front … the electrician just left; we’ve been out here working all week,” she said.
The business will add new iced products to the menu at the Ballard Park stand that the Tupelo community has not yet seen: shaved ice cream, which will represent the “Ice” part of the business and hot drinks from the shop’s traditional menu will represent the “Fire” part.
“It will be unique to Tupelo,” she said.
“It’s the same concept as the snow cone but it’s the block form of ice cream that comes out like shaved ice and it will have toppings,” Brad said.
The owners are also starting an event called “Foodie Fridays” in a couple of weeks that will feature local restaurant bites including a few new items the owners are working on at the moment.
“Before, I’ve always catered or done something with food, so we’re going to do Foodie Fridays and have real food here, we will integrate local restaurant bites into this west location,” Franks said.
Crave’s first food collaboration for the Ballard Park stand will be with Clay’s House of Pig; the Fire & Ice stand will serve items like barbecue, sandwiches and nachos.
Everything will remain in pop-up format for now with varying hours, until the owners can gauge how these expansions go.
The hours for the Ballard Park shaved ice stand will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights for the month of December. The business also is hoping to do a pop-up coffee in the park, so the coffee pop-up and Foodie Friday hours will be posted on social media as they come.