Who says you can’t be “forever young?” Walrus Ice Cream has been serving up chilly treats to Old Town Fort Collins, Colorado, since 1987. But owner, Lisa Paugh, and General Manager, Jake Anderson, view their mission as something more than simply serving the best ice cream around.
If Old Town Fort Collins seems like the quintessential Main Street, that’s because it is. Harper Goff, Walt Disney collaborator, grew up there and infused some of its beloved landmarks into Disneyland’s Main Street USA.
Walrus Ice Cream opened in Old Town Fort Collins in 1987, its name inspired by the Beatles’ song, “I am the Walrus.” Lisa Paugh bought the shop in 1999 and has helped the business stay focused on its core identity, on what it does best: “It’s an ice cream store. We make our own mix, we make our own ice cream, and we can make any flavor you can think of.”
As part of its effort to constantly add new flavors to the rotation, Walrus Ice Cream features 29 flavors each day on its menu–and the team constantly seeks out opportunities to collaborate with local businesses on new flavors.
“There are a couple of restaurants here in our town that offer dessert products that we make into an ice cream and they can serve,” Paugh mentions. “We’ve collaborated with breweries to create beer ice creams. We also made a cinnamon roll ice cream with a breakfast place here in town. We’re a local business ourselves, so we love to support other local businesses.”
“People come in happy. It’s our job to make sure they leave happy–and we love doing it,” Jake Anderson says. “We’re surrounded by children and sprinkles, and we’re staffed by a bunch of teenagers–so we’re forever young,” Paugh laughs.
Naturally, a business so connected to its local economy has a huge, loyal following–the line in the summer months can extend out the door for eight hours straight. To keep traffic flowing, the team at Walrus switched to Clover in 2014.
“Before Clover, we were hand ringing everything, printing credit card receipts, and waiting for customers to sign every single one of them,” explains Anderson. “You can imagine how much that slowed us down on our busy days.”
“Now, we can spend more time chatting with people in line, saying hello, and answering questions while they wait. It’s a much better customer experience–and we enjoy it,” Paugh adds.
In addition to moving long lines more quickly, Paugh and Anderson were amazed at what else Clover can do.
“Being able to track sales, make changes to inventory, and look at the schedule on our phones–even when we’re not in the store–is really nice,” says Paugh. “I can check on the reports as we’re meeting with vendors, out on deliveries, or shopping for local ingredients. It’s nice to have all that kind of access on our phones.”
Paugh and Anderson also see their relationship with Clover as a way to show gratitude to the community who has supported them for thirty-four years.
“We didn’t have a rewards program before. We’ve been blessed to stay busy from word of mouth–and because we have a really good product and a fun, funky store. We even have a ghost–a previous owner of the building–that’s attracted some attention. He reveals himself from time to time,” Anderson laughs. “We have lots of different things that draw people to Walrus. Clover Rewards is our way of saying thanks for supporting us.”
With the recent addition of a Carpigiani Pastomaster 120 HE machine to help them create their own soft ice cream mixtures, Walrus Ice Cream is now poised to take their ice cream to the next level.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our business. Our ice cream is the best it’s ever been,” Paugh insists. “I love what I do for a living.”