Business profile: Big Cones cools you off in the summer

Big Cones ice cream is “serving up happiness” all summer long, says owner Martine Cloutier.

Located on the Trans-Canada Highway, this gem is hidden in plain sight. With a brightly coloured stand bumping out beats on a warm summer day, Big Cones is the place to get your cold scoops.

Each day, fan favourites are changing. One day it’s chocolate, peanut butter cup, rainbow, and pistachio. The next, people are choosing cookie dough, espresso, and mint chip.

A lot of her business is tourists, but locals often come up to say hello and enjoy a tasty frozen treat. With dozens of flavours to choose from, the tricky choice must be made.

During a visit, the ice cream stand stood fairly empty while it rained, but before long, a row of customers lined the window, all peering in at the buckets of ice cream in the freezer.

Cloutier has been at this for 12 years. Originally, she and a business partner began the journey of serving up ice cream along the highway, but after a few years, Cloutier bought out her partner and took it over full time. She works what she calls “100 days of summer,” and is there nearly every day. Once the fall weather hits, she closes up shop and moves the mobile trailer off site.

If Cloutier isn’t on location, there’s a good chance she’s wheeling around in her “mini cones” set up. It features a much smaller venue that is more easily transportable, and she takes it to markets, concerts, weddings, and wherever else people want it.

The main focus is Big Cones, and Cloutier loves being up there every moment of the day. Before opening up shop in the morning, she checks the weather and the highway reports to get a glimpse of what could be in store.

If the weather takes a turn for the worst, she closes up and goes home early.

But, if it’s hot and sunny and there’s a million travellers on the highway, she is happy to be open for business.

Stop by and say “hi” to Cloutier, grab a big scoop of your favourite kind of Foothills Creamery ice cream, and sit down at the picnic tables to savour every lick, slurp, and bite.

Big Cones is located behind the Petro Canada gas station at 1417 N. Trans-Canada Highway.

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