Ownership Changes at Zesto in Bluffton
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors held a Ribbon Cutting celebration for the new owners of Zesto Ice Cream on March 15, 2022. Brooke and Chad Ealing recently purchased Zesto Ice Cream from Bruce Skiles after 21 years of ownership.
Skiles recently decided to retire from the ice cream business and sell the local Bluffton Zesto store. Over the years the Ealing family were regular customers. “Our family has a deep love of ice cream,” stated Brooke. “We came to Zesto an embarrassing number of times.”
Chad explained that one evening going through the drive-thru Skiles said there was going to be a change in the business and would be selling. “I said, ‘I wish you would have told me because I would have bought it.’ Bruce told me that if things fell through, he would contact me.”
A wish that eventually came true because things did fall through with the original plans and now the Ealings had an opportunity to purchase Zesto. “We are really excited about the next steps,” said Chad.
Brooke worked at a local dental office for many years and quit her job for a change. “I loved what I was doing, and the people were amazing. I am looking forward to a change in life right now and when this opportunity came about, it was hard to pass up.”
Brooke said she is excited, but very nervous as well. “Bruce has been great and has helped me every step of the way. I didn’t know if I could do this, but here we are. I have the best mentor helping me along the way.”
The Ealings want Zesto Ice Cream to be a place for family and friends to come and enjoy ice cream together. “You know summer is here when Zesto opens,” explained Brooke. “We want this to be a place for people to come and watch our family grow with the business. We had the pleasure of watching Bruce and his kids work the business over the years and we hope this is something our family can do together.”
The Ealings are thrilled that they have a full staff ready to serve, but always looking for backups. “Our goal is to find an assistant manager to help Brooke with the day-to-day functions,” said Chad.
Opening day will be March 30th and will close sometime in September, depending on the weather. The hours will change to open at 11:30 to cater the lunch crowd and close at 9pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours will be 12pm to 9pm.
“We will be offering many of the same menu items such as pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream, shakes, sundaes, and razzles,” said Brooke. “Starting in June, the hours will change to 11:30am to 9:30pm.”
“We like ice cream a little too much, I think,” Chad laughed.
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Rob Lyons, Bluffton Regional, Chamber Board President
Erin Daugherty, State Farm, Chamber Ambassador
Gina Hon, First Merchants Bank, Special Events
Dennis Ealing, Zesto Ice Cream
Brooke Ealing, Zesto Ice Cream
Angie Ealing, Zesto Ice Cream
Keith Muhlenkamp, First Merchants Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Kam Ealing, Zesto Ice Cream
Chad Ealing, Zesto Ice Cream
Lilly Ealing, Zesto Ice Cream
Sam Haiflich, BKM Real Estate, Chamber Vice-President
Jeff Stover, Zesto Ice Cream
Sandy Garcia, Chamber Ambassador
Sarah MacNeill, Wells County Public Library, Chamber Board Member
Nick Boratenski, Helping Hands
Danica Dunwiddie, General Insurance, Special Events
Erin Prible, Executive Director, Wells County Chamber of Commerce