Wednesday, October 14, 2015
When my friend Katie told me that she would be getting married about five minutes from where I used to live in Massillon, Ohio, Jim and I started planning a roadtrip. He'd never really been to Ohio before, and I was eager to revisit a few spots that I took for granted when they were part of my every day commute. I was particularly excited to see the two Twistee Treats that are a few minutes apart and just down the road from the last place I lived in Ohio.
According to Roadside Architecture, Twistee Treats are "28 feet tall and 20 feet wide fiberglass ice cream cones topped with cherries. The design was created by Robert G. "Skip" Skinner who built the first location in North Fort Myers in 1982. The buildings were produced in Cape Coral, FL. They were made from 19 pieces of fiberglass and assembled on-site. By 1986, there were 30 locations, all of them in Florida. It is believed that about 90 of these buildings were produced over the years. About half of them have been demolished."
Chubby's is definitely my favorite, and as far as I can tell one of the nicest ones that still exist. The cherry, fudge, raised lettering and hand-painted signage really bring it to the next level. While we were creeping on it, the owner actually pulled up to collect her planters. We thought she was going to question why we were creeping on her obviously closed business, but instead she apologized that they had just recently closed for the season. She also remarked "there's no doubt what we sell," which is what I love about novelty architecture. Is there anything more charming than getting ice cream from a building shaped like an ice cream cone? Nope.
The other location is more sparse than Chubby's, but any building shaped like what it sells is perfect in my book. I do love the matching umbrellas, and this Twistee Treat gets the distinction of being the only one that I've actually patronized. We went through the drive-thru once and I got a chocolate-dipped cone that was a very delicious but hazardous choice.
There is another Twistee Treat quite close to these two, but it's nearly identical to the pink one and was slightly out of our way so we didn't get to it. After browsing the #twisteetreat hashtag on Instagram and seeing one for sale, Jim and I promptly developed a fantasy of buying one, plopping it in a New York park à la Shake Shake and retiring as millionaires—with a lifetime supply of ice cream that looks exactly like the building in which it was made.