Lanesborough's Krispy Kone celebrates 10 years and 122 flavors
LANESBOROUGH -- Krispy Cones Soft Serve Ice Cream is a beehive of activity on sunny summer days.
People line up at the two windows to order their food, the picnic tables are filled with customers enjoying their ice cream or dinners, children play on the wooden play structures in the large back yard and the parking lot is full. (Owner John LeVardi plans to add batting cages and a full arcade.)
LeVardi, who started the business 10 years ago, said he "serves food and ice cream the way he would for family."
Krispy Cone offers 122 flavors of ice cream, and the number is growing -- thanks to customers and staff coming up with new ones all the time.
"I've never seen so many soft-serve flavors in my life," said Rick Koch of Bend, Ore., and formerly of Pittsfield, who was at Krispy Cone with more than 20 family members. "The downside? It takes too long to decide on one."
Specialties at the dairy bar include burgers, fish fries, fried dough and chicken wings in several flavors. (Krispy Cone's garlic parmesan wings took the top spot in the Pittsfield YMCA's Wing Fling in 2013.) LeVardi will debut Jamaican jerk chicken wings soon, but he's "just not there yet" on the seasoning, he said.
No group is too large to handle -- LeVardi said he and staff members recently served five busloads, 185 campers from Camp Emerson in Hinsdale.
"Everyone was served in under 35 minutes," he said proudly.
Krispy Cone not only caters to families: It runs on family as well. Although LeVardi's children are grown and no longer involved with the business, his grandsons, Brandon Bramer, 12, Cameron Lee, 10, and Kyle Lee, 13, and granddaughter Gionnah LeVardi, 6, help out at the business.
Gionnah mixes the flavors and pours ice cream, and calls customers on the intercom when their order is ready. His grandsons do prep work in the kitchen, serve customers and clean. His youngest grandchild, Madison Lee, 3, is waiting for her chance to work at the dairy bar.
For those who can never get enough of its fare, LeVardi also has a catering trailer with a full kitchen that can be booked for functions.
And he now offers Krisy Cones on Wheels, a fifth-wheel camper that has been converted to an ice cream parlor. It can be found at events throughout the Berkshires -- Third Thursdays, Live on the Lake, Party in the Park, the Shriners' Fair and the Ethnic Fair.
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