Fresh powder. Grandma’s kitchen. Campfires. For Kasey Allen ’15, these aren’t just some of life’s best experiences — they’re also some of the sweetest ice cream flavors he’ll bring to downtown Boise, Idaho starting this summer.
For the last 10 months, Allen and his business partner Dan Sell have prepared to open an artisanal ice cream shop at 786 W. Broad Street: The STIL, an acronym standing for “The Sweetest Things in Life,” which is currently set for a July grand opening. For Allen and Sell, the acronym relates not only to the unique flavors they’ll provide to the people of Boise, but also to a broader mission to bring joy to the Boise community.
“Time kind of stands still when you’re eating ice cream,” Allen said. “We want people to use that time to facilitate their thinking about how great life is, how sweet life is, and what the sweetest things in their lives are. We want people to take a minute, eat an ice cream, and remember their sweetest things, whether that’s their family, their friends, their favorite memories, or anything important to them.”
Allen was an enthusiastic presence during his time at the C of I, regularly cheering on athletic teams as director of the YoteFam and as captain of the men’s varsity golf team. Now, Allen is applying that same enthusiasm he showed on campus as a student to a brand new venture, combining his experience in marketing and project management with Sell’s financial and web development skills to form a tight entrepreneurial partnership.
“It was business love at first sight,” Sell joked, recalling how the two had met through a softball team the played on together with Allen’s brother-in-law.
After forming their friendship, the two casually began discussing an idea for what would become The STIL, each of them noting the lack of ice cream shops in the Boise area and the impact ice cream could have for a community. Although the original suggestion was not meant to be serious, it wasn’t long until Sell purchased an ice cream maker and the pair began to attend conventions for ice cream makers, their lack of experience in actually making ice cream themselves a non-issue in pursuing their idea.
“We saw a gap and said to ourselves, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to create something like that for Boise?’” Allen said. “We got far enough in the process that we knew that there was no turning back now. We wanted to make something in the city that people could really be proud of as something that’s uniquely Boise.”
To that end, Allen and Sell want to make The STIL as high-quality as they can, combining a relaxed and fun atmosphere with a wide variety of unique flavors custom made from local and organic ingredients. Sell, The STIL’s “resident ice cream scientist,” said the pair has developed a list of around 60 different flavors that will be cycled during different parts of the year, including vegan friendly flavors. This ranges from the standard vanilla and chocolate to more experimental flavors like green tea, maple bacon, and even alcohol-infused flavors like honey bourbon and caramel IPA.
“Our philosophy is to have an accessible menu,” Sell said. “We want to make sure that if someone comes in who just really likes chocolate, we have that, but we also want to provide something for someone who wants to try something they’ve never been able to try before.”
Since announcing The STIL, Allen said the new shop has received a lot of buzz on social media, where he and Sell frequently interact with followers on a personal level in regular videos.
“I think sometimes you see a place and you don’t recognize that behind everything that’s ever been built or created, there’s just a normal person,” Allen said. “We’re very normal people. Behind this whole thing it’s just two people who like stupid jokes and want to be authentic and genuine. We want to be accessible.”
That also extends to the community, as Allen and Sell are both committed to doing good for the community, not only in ice cream sales, but through philanthropy to local charities and causes. The STIL recently sponsored the 15th annual AJ’s Angels Golf Scramble, benefitting local families working through pediatric cancer.
“Whether it’s getting involved in charities or helping refugees, we want to use The STIL as a vehicle to get involved in the Boise community,” Sell said. “We don’t look at The STIL like it’s just a business — it’s something we want to give to the city that they can be proud of.”
“That’s really what The STIL is all about,” Allen agreed. “Supporting others is undoubtedly one of the sweetest things in life.”
To learn more about The STIL, visit their website at www.ilovethestil.com.
The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.