Gus’ Best Ice Cream is the Powers family labor of love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have run HeartSong Quilts in Hot Springs, SD since 2008. Brian and Ann homeschool or have homeschooled Christine 21, Sam 19, Tom 17, and Jesse 10, and they all work in the quilt shop. Visit our website at www.heartsongquilts.com.
Sam, having the long time entrepreneurial heart of the Powers family, decided he wanted to start a more interesting and fun business. After brainstorming various ideas, we decided to open a hand-dipped ice cream shop in the small lean-to structure attached to the quilt shop. One of our claims to fame? Hand made, fresh baked waffle cones. The smell in the shop is scrumptious! And, all of us work in Gus’ at different times.
While hand-dipped ice cream got us all excited (I mean, who doesn’t want to work in an ice cream shop?), we also wanted to do something completely different. People who know us will tell you that we are a bit out of the mainstream—a little different, a little wacky, a little offbeat. And, some of us are WAY different.
Anyway, when thinking about products, we remembered our Hawaiian vacation, the North Shore of Oahu, Matsumoto’s Grocery Store, and Shave Ice. Yummmm! Why not offer Shave Ice in the Black Hills of South Dakota? No matter that it routinely gets to -20 in the winter. Shave Ice is the most delicious thing on the whole dang planet! We needed to share this delicious treat with all of you who live in and visit the Black Hills.
We purchased an authentic Fujimarca ice shaver, and secured several “secret” recipes for various shave ice concoctions. We now make authentic Shave Ice which is way up there on the “wow” chart.
Of course, we also sell hand-dipped ice cream, shakes, sundaes, and smoothies.
What’s up with the manatee? And, who is Gus? Well, we’re originally from South Florida, and we had manatees swimming behind our house in Lake Worth. They are wonderful creatures, magnificently ugly and beautiful at the same time. One day, on our way back home from a trip to Big Pine Key, we stopped and purchased a manatee mailbox. He was so cute that we called him Gus. We dressed him up with different outfits and hats depending on the season and his mood. Gus stood outside our home in Lake Worth for many years until he met with a tragic end at the hands of neighborhood hooligans.
When we were discussing a name for the ice cream shop, it suddenly came to Ann that it had to be called “Gus’ Best,” and that the Gus mailbox needed to have a starring role. We went online and found the shop in the Florida Keys selling the mailboxes and purchased another Gus. He now sits outside Gus’ Best Ice Cream dressed according to the season and his mood. He also thinks that Shave Ice is the most delicious thing on the whole dang planet.
The sandstone wall on the south side of Gus’ Best is representative of the sandstone construction in Hot Springs. The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places because of its beautiful sandstone architecture. HeartSong Quilts’ building was constructed in 1902. The lean-to was added 23 years later, and has at various times housed snack shops, bars, and other businesses. It is now the proud home of Gus’ Best Ice Cream.