Bryant Evans, a junior graphic design major from Wetumpka, scooped ice cream to Kayla Ramirez, a sophomore biomedical sciences major from Edinburg, Texas, at Sophie’s restaurant on the Square. The establishment was previously known as Milky Moo’s before the owners chose to not renew their franchising agreement.
Milky Moo’s changed its name to Sophie’s in order to separate itself from the Milky Moo’s franchise and become a family-owned and family-oriented place.
Milky Moo’s was most known for the various ice cream flavors served. Felicia Meek, the store manager and the owner’s daughter, said Sophie’s is still scooping over 200 ice cream flavors and around 500 possible combinations with the choice of sundaes, milkshakes and floats.
Upon request, Meek said, they will consider making new flavors or combinations.
Sophie’s is named after the store owner’s granddaughter. Meek assures customers that the location has the same owners who previously held the Milky Moo’s franchise.
She said the separation from the Milky Moo’s franchise allows Sophie’s more freedom with the menu, ice cream flavors, hiring and sponsoring events.
Some of the new items include hamburgers, meatball subs, several salad options, barbecue sandwiches, turkey avocado sandwiches and several loaded baked potato choices. In addition, new items and options have been added for children.
Though the store has changed very little in product, customers have noticed the change in quality.
“We’ve gotten a lot more customers and a lot more customer compliments,” Meek said. “They’re saying that the food is fresher, it’s nicer (and) everything’s fuller.”
There is now more choice and flexibility for the store owners.
“Even if we see a decrease in customers we can always tweak our menu,” Meek said. “We can tweak anything we want, which is the beauty of being outside a franchise.
“We can adapt to what our customers want.”
Meek said returning students still question the name change, but otherwise the transition has gone smoothly.
Amber Holloway, a junior social science major from Sylacauga and employee at Sophie’s, said she has tried some of the menu items and really likes the meatball sub.
Also, she has seen more hiring, but no change in employment from Milky Moo’s to Sophie’s. She would like to see how they can try new things with the separation from the franchise.
“Maybe, like, talk to people, see what they want to try since, like, now we can come up with our own stuff,” Holloway said. “Just, like, really establish ourselves as a local place.”
Students have reacted well to the name change, and it is still their local ice cream shop.
Davis Whitfield, a sophomore music education major from Sterrett, was at Sophie’s on Sunday with several Sound of the South band members sponsoring a fundraiser.
“Personally, for me the process for getting a fundraiser here was a lot easier (than before),” Whitfield said.
He said because the store is family-owned now, the process of Sophie’s sponsoring fundraisers is much simpler.
“I like it a lot,” said Tasha Van Randwyk a senior marine biology major from Niceville, Florida. “It’s like Sophie’s, that downtown bistro. It fits in with the downtown vibe.”
Van Randwyk would also like to see more non-diary items. “I always wanted to see like sorbet or dairy-free,” she said.
Meek said they are open to any new ideas.
Sophie’s is located in downtown Troy on the square and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Saturday.