In the summer of 2011 Jamie Klavon, at just 16-years-old, took it upon herself to create a Klavon’s Ice-Cream Parlor’s Facebook page that now has 782 likes.
Last year Dave Graham had the idea to update Klavon’s website to make it more modern looking which will be created within the next few months.
“We haven’t really pushed it but the people find their way here,” Graham said.
While Klavon’s has earned the reputation as one of the most quaint ice cream stores in the region it is now employing social networks to spread the word on its old favorites as well as its venture into frozen yogurt and other healthy frozen treats. Klavon’s doesn’t use flashy ads and large billboards or gimmicks because they rely heavily on community support based on word of mouth.
Klavon’s serves frozen yogurt, sugar-free and low-fat ice-cream to expand their customer base. They originally reopened using Reinhold’s ice-cream but since that company has closed, Klavon’s has used Hershey’s ice-cream since then. Hershey’s offers sampling to allow them to test several flavors and frozen yogurts before they have to make the decision. With the trend of frozen yogurt and healthier living and eating, Klavon’s expects to remain traditional while expanding their product base that caters to certain crowds.
“People have come in and asked for specialty vegan ice-cream and just turned around and left cause we didn’t have it,” says Jamie.
Klavon’s currently has two frozen yogurt flavors: chocolate and vanilla, but has several ice-cream flavor classics like strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate-chip, toasted almond fudge and butter pecan, to name a few. Ice-cream is sold by the scoop for $2.80 plus tax for a single and $4.67 plus tax for a double scoop ice-cream cone. They are currently debating as to whether to add additional frozen yogurt flavors to the menu, “We want to appeal to that but not completely change to it,” said Jamie.
Last summer, while skimming her Facebook page, Klavon noticed the ads that were to the right-hand side of her home page and thought to her-self that it would be a great idea to make a Facebook page for the family-owned-ice-cream parlor.
Over the past year she says it’s really taken off more than she realized it would but in addition to her school-work she also makes sure to keep the page updated with the latest flavors and any new information that Klavon’s wishes to share with its fans.
The page has reached over 700 likes in the short amount of time that it’s been available, but the interactions are constant. “People send us messages and ask us questions and even tag us in their photos,” she said.
Klavon doesn’t see any reason to rush into developing a Twitter or Blog anytime soon because she’d like to keep it minimal and traditional, which is another reason the family hasn’t invested much money into advertisements. They rely heavily on free advertising by word-of-mouth. Referrals are a large part of their business, “Businesses down here are a community- we take turns referring each other,” she said.
“People seem to appreciate us, friends tell friends and so-on,” Graham said.
Klavon’s also features an ad in Neighbors in the Strip magazine, but that’s as far as it goes. There is no enticing marketing campaigns or over-digitized imagery from Klavon’s, just straight-forward testimonies about their infamous nostalgic themed treats.
Graham is a cousin through his mother and has worked at Klavon’s since the re-opening in 1999 and last year he noticed that the business needed to redesign their website as it was created at the time of reopening.
Graham sees the website taking on a more modernized design but wants to keep it simple. The site will focus on showcasing their infamous menu items and ways to connect to Facebook and Yelp and any other associations they have at the time.
He wants to take pictures of guests and post them to the site to show a more interactive relationship to the public as well as work on the general organization of the pages and site.
According to Klavon’s website, the location was opened in 1923 by James and Mary Klavon as a pharmacy with a soda fountain. It wasn’t until 1979 when James died that they closed the pharmacy.
In 1999, the building was still in the family’s name and was boarded up and closed to the public, when the five sisters, two brothers and mother reopened the legendary pharmacy, but this time as an old-fashioned- ice-cream parlor.
Every piece of the furniture, except the ATM and register, are from the original pharmacy. Bell telephone booths and famous bottle-cap seats decorate the inside of Klavon’s today and make each generation of customer take a trip back in time with their phosphate drinks and sundaes that promise to please.