As the temperature rises and the snow goes away, the lines for soft serve ice cream at Belts’ and Carl D’s explodes.
These two establishments have battled for customers for the past year, and recently it escalated to new heights.
The altercation hit its peak when both owners went at each other in a good old fashioned soft serve creation competition that had to be broken up by Stevens Point police chief, Skip Lawless.
“I got a bunch of calls from citizens with concerns about what was going on. With it being the first really nice Saturday I knew both places would be crowded, but the chaos was something I’ve never seen before,” Lawless said.
The weather rose to 74 degrees on Saturday, and the lines were out to the road. Owner of Belts’ Scoop Jacoby is no stranger to large crowds, but with the recent success of Carl D’s, he has had to make some adjustments.
“We had a special buy one get one half-off deal that we surprised everybody with on Saturday. Once Carl D’s got word of this they sprung on an even better deal of get a large cone and get a medium free,” Jacoby said. “That’s when I knew today was going to be different.”
Different it was, as Carl D’s owner Cole Eclaire left his post at Carl D’s and made his way over to Belts’ to challenge Jacoby to a soft serve creation competition with the winner forcing the loser to close their shop for the rest of the day.
“When Cole showed up, we had no clue what was going to happen, all he had in his hand was a gallon of ice cream and a scoop,” University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point senior Jamal “Triple Scoop” Johnson said.
The two agreed to battle, and had 15 minutes to create the flavor of their choice that would be judged by Johnson, infamous customer of both establishments.
“I felt a ton of pressure. I have been here for four years and I had two specific flavors in mind I was hoping they would make, and they didn’t make either of them,” Johnson said.
“Triple Scoop” was hoping for French silk from Belts’ and red raspberry from Carl D’s. Instead, he got chocolate thunder from Belts’ and yellow cake batter from Carl D’s.
The sweat coming from Eclaire’s forehead was prominent as he mistakenly dropped one of the three scoops allowed to be dropped on the cone and he tried to make up for it by being exceedingly better than Jacoby’s chocolate thunder.
“Chocolate thunder is one of my more underrated flavors, when I saw him drop the scoop I knew I was in the clear,” Jacoby said.
When Johnson gave a look of disappointment as he gave the yellow cake batter a lick, and a smile of approval as the chocolate thunder entered his mouth, Eclaire already knew the verdict.
Eclaire decided to create chaos and started throwing utensils across the table at Jacoby, prompting an all out ice cream free-for-all.
“When I arrived on the scene there was ice cream flying everywhere. I got hit with some cookies and cream and luckily that was my favorite flavor so I took a lick off my shirt and addressed the situation,” Lawless said.
Lawless threatened to arrest both owners, but was bribed with a triple scoop of each place’s finest soft serve ice cream.
When the dust completely settled, Belts’ wound up on top, and Carl D’s had to close for the rest of the day, driving all customers to Belts’.
“I was confident in my ability and I am glad I came out on top. The students of UWSP know who the number one soft serve ice cream spot in the town is,” Jacoby said.
For Eclaire, it is back to the drawing board.
“We’re up and coming, and I know one day soon we will come out on top and take the crown from Belts’,” Eclaire said.