Sugar Creek works with dessert stores all across the United States and offers a large variety of crafted soft-serve mixes with real bulky flavorings. Created in 1946, the company changed hands again in 2007, and became one of the largest and most successful of its kind in the country.
Aside from its high-quality mixes, Sugar Creek’s frozen-dessert specialists offer training and advice for new and existing dessert stores, that helps them thrive in the competitive soft-serve market. We interviewed George R. Clark, the VP of Sales, about the company’s history, success and what sets it apart.
Sugar Creek poster
Tell us about Sugar Creek and how it all started.
Our company is run by two childhood friends, Scott Van Horn and Bud Gunter. Both were employed at the same company by Scott’s father, Mac Van Horn, before it was sold to an international company. After buying it back, they set the tone for Sugar Creek to become a third generation—owned business as the years went on.
Sugar Creek is located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, in beautiful Russellville, Arkansas. The central U.S. location allows us to provide nationwide coverage. Our manufacturing facility only produces soft-serve mixes and remains dedicated to one industry — frozen desserts. It is one of the few vat pasteurization plants left in the country, a process that makes a big difference in the quality of the mixes we provide. We are dedicated to using the best ingredients we can source. When consumers enjoy our products, we want them to be left with a memorable experience that makes them want to come back. Sugar Creek is not focused on being the biggest, just the best.
What is your role in the company, and what are your daily responsibilities?
I am the VP of Sales. Unlike a lot of people in a similar position, I am very active in our interaction with all our customers, with a focus on mom-and-pop shops. My daily responsibilities are to work with my representatives in finding ways to better help our customers and increase their sales. You will find me all over the country going to shops to offer solutions. I have 26 years of experience in food service and I love contributing to the success of new businesses.
Sugar Creek flavor combinations
What is your most popular product right now and why?
Frozen yogurt is still number one for us. The industry is still strong and, while many companies have changed their focus away from frozen yogurt, this is still a very important part of our portfolio of soft-serve products.
Are there any new hot products we need to know about?
Our cultured coconut-milk soft serve has been gaining more popularity each year.
Do you have any fun seasonal products?
Absolutely! We are getting ready to produce our apple-pie and pumpkin-pie mixes (made with pumpkin puree, not a flavoring), and that is always a big hit. For the Christmas season, we are bringing back our popular Gingerbread Man frozen yogurt.
Do you offer training to your customers?
Yes! In fact, this is one way we set ourselves apart from the competition. We offer tours and training at our facility, we provide on-site training, to which we add a shop owner’s manual with useful tips on employee training, how to setup a business, marketing and much more. We just recently updated this manual, so all the information is kept current, with lots of new helpful resources.
Sugar Creek poster
What is Sugar Creek famous for among existing customers?
We are well-known for the bulky ingredients in our soft-serve mixes and for our Super Jug that reduces leakage and is an excellent space-saving alternative to the traditional gallon jug. Our helpful customer service and the fact that we are highly interactive with our customer base definitely puts us on top of the game.
Tell us about your mobile loyalty program.
We just partnered with SlickText. They are offering our partner-program clients affordable package deals that make text and loyalty programs a breeze. We chose them not only for their features (that are perfect for the ice cream business), but also because they come without unnecessary gimmicks. It has exactly what you need to keep customers coming back.
What is the best way to contact your company for someone starting a new business?
Just send us an e-mail and we’ll take it from there. You can find all the information on our contact page.
Sugar Creek label
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