CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — The owner of the only ice cream shop in Cedar Springs is making sure to invest in her staff just like her boss did for her when she was younger.
Katy Hradsky grew up in Cedar Springs and began working at KC’s Kones and Coney’s in 2009. When the business expanded to include Rocky’s Dairy Depot in Rockford, she spent most of her time there.
In 2017, she and her husband were looking to buy Rocky’s from her then-boss.
“He wanted to sell KC’s to me, too, because he didn’t want someone to come in and get rid of everything we’ve worked so hard on. And after I thought long and hard about it, I didn’t either because I would have to drive past KC’s every day,” she said.
So she bought both.
“It wasn’t a part of my original plan but he made the offer too good to be true,” Hradsky said.
Over the past six years, not much has changed at KC’s under the new owners.
“We (still) have soft serve, hand-dipped, dole whip, (but) this location is unique because we serve food here,” Hradsky said.
The lunch and dinner menu includes hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps and more.
Growing up working at KC’s has sparked Hradsky’s interest in supporting and developing her staff like she was by her previous boss.
“A long time ago, I realized I have a unique opportunity because a unique opportunity was given to me in that we can teach and hire the kids within our communities and train them how to run a business,” she said.
When she started in 2009, the U.S. was in the middle of a recession and housing crisis. She saw how small businesses were affected by the changes in the economy and wants to share that knowledge with her staff.
“When we took (the business) over, it’s always been my goal to train my staff how to run a business because I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college and go to school. I learned everything by just doing it,” she said.
As an employee progresses at KC’s, they learn about counting and balancing money, cost and benefit, and inventory.
Her staff members have gone on to be lawyers, teachers, pharmacists and doctors, and some are taking the skills they learned at KC’s and are working to become business owners themselves.
“I do have two past employees from this location who are working on a business plan to eventually, in five to 10 years, open their own bookstore and coffee shop, which is really cool because they started here,” she said.
KC’s Kones and Coneys is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Once school begins it will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. until the season ends, usually around the Red Flannel Festival. For more information, visit the shop’s Facebook page.