If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
This week, we’re rolling in Diamondchippers ice cream shop for a sweet conversation. In case you have not heard, this local entertaining, family-centered rolled ice cream was previously owned by community favorite, Chip Stone. However, after Chip put the business up for sale, Diamondchippers has found its new owners in the husband and wife duo of Luke and Tonya Farr.
Luke and Tonya have been running the show since November of 2019, three months at the time of this blog’s publication. However, after stopping and hanging out for a bit, I (Anthony Crosby) am excited for what the Farr family has already brought to the table, even before their official grand re-opening/branding coming this spring! My daughters are huge fans of their frozen treats; every time we’re doing some shopping in the East End Mall, they make me drive past the shop so they can at least look at the outside of it! And after leaving this interview with a cup of my own, I can understand why!
Thank you for joining us this week, Tonya and Luke! Before we get too far into our conversation, I don’t want to assume all of our readers know what rolled ice cream is. Can you please explain it to us and maybe tell us about some of the other goodies you all offer?
Luke- “We start with a liquid ice cream base, and then we put it on a negative four-degree cold plate. It starts freezing up pretty quickly, so you have to add all your flavors and mix-ins. Once it actually starts freezing, you spread it out into a square and then start rolling it up with your spatula! It’s the freshest ice cream you can get! We’ll also be doing floats, different kinds of ice cream, soda freezes, and pie rolled ice cream! You can also grab different snack items here, such as nachos, hot dogs, and pretzels!”
That’s some cool stuff! Thank you! Now, let’s get to know you all a little bit. When did you all move to Elko, and what brought you here?
Tonya- “We moved here the same month that Chip opened Diamondchippers, actually. April of 2017.”
Luke- “We were living out in Salt Lake [Utah] because she’s from Denver [Colorado], and I’m from Antelope Valley [Nevada]. When we first got married, we were going to school in Utah and would go back to Antelope Valley during the summers to work on a farm. We did that for a few years until we finished school when we did get offered a job out there. We were there, living on the farm for about five and a half years. We had our daughter, who is currently seven, and when she was about to turn five, we realized we did not want to homeschool. We also did not want to send her on the two-hour bus ride into town. So, I applied for a job buying hay from farms and ranches and shipping it all over the world. After I got that job, we knew we could live anywhere in Nevada. We went to all the different towns, Fallon, Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, but we liked Elko the best! We love the Ruby Mountains and the mountain biking scene here.”
Tonya- “Elko is also closest to our family in Colorado and Utah where our family are; it’s also a central location for all the places he has to travel for his hay job.”
Now, the big question—how did you come to own Diamondchippers?
Tonya- “I saw Chip’s post online. We’re entrepreneurs, so we’re also looking for the next opportunity. However, our conversation about this started off as kind of a joke. I told Luke about it, but we really didn’t think about it much, but a while later, we brought it up to each other again.”
Luke- “I saw Chip in church one day, so I went over and asked him about it. He invited us to meet him there so he could tell us about it.”
Tonya- “We figured it couldn’t hurt to meet with him, so we came, sat down with him, went crazy and decided to buy it! We also like to sleep on our decisions when we make them, but this did seem to happen pretty fast!”
What were some of the big reasons why you were interested in purchasing the business?
Luke- “We’ve wanted a storefront for a while. So, this was our way of getting into that.”
Tonya- “It’s also family-friendly. It’s something we can bring our kids to if we need to. It’s a place where they can come and have fun! People are always looking for those kinds of places in Elko.”
What have each of you come to love the most about your first few months as business owners?
Luke- “My favorite thing is making people happy! I love giving someone an ice cream and seeing their eyes light up. The customer side of things is what I thrive on.”
Tonya- “I’m more of a backstage type of person, so I love the designing and art decor! Making the ice cream is fun too because it’s kind of like art itself!”
Fantastic! Well, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers before we let you get back to rolling up desserts?
Luke- “We’re a family business, and we would love for people to give us a chance. If we can get them through the door once, they’ll see we’re a fun place to be with good ice cream!”
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See you around, Elko!
Written by: Anthony Crosby
Edited by: Nadara Merrill