A trio of St. Albans’ high school basketball coaches could be called for traveling this summer — but it’s going to be a welcome call in the simmering heat of the moments.
The hoops leaders aren’t traveling on the basketball court, you see — they’re traveling around St. Albans and surrounding communities with their selection of ice cream treats.
Here’s the scoop: A grand opening took place on July 11 for Crafts of the Coal, a mobile premium, handmade (and hand-dipped) ice cream shop owned and operated by St. Albans High School head basketball coach Bryan England and Red Dragons assistant coaches T.J. Douglas and Jordan Garrett.
“We started tossing around some business ideas that T.J., Jordan, and our families might want to be involved in,” England said last week. “One thing we all kind of agreed upon was the fact that ice cream is something we all love and we know it’s loved throughout most communities in our country. We also believe the market’s good for it.
“We looked into that and went that way,” England said. “We’re all really good friends and coaches together and spent months planning and working on this project.”
For cost efficiency, the coaches purchased an 8-1/2-foot-by-16-foot car hauler. Douglas and his family members converted it into a food trailer.
“The health department was very pleased with what we did and allowed us to sell our ice cream. It’s been quite a journey to go from the idea to buying the trailer and getting the LLC and license and that kind of stuff. It’s a pretty exceptional trailer,” England said.
“We want to try to service the city of St. Albans, and right now, we’re setting up beside Crawford Field at the old Jody Fisher Chiropractic building [142 MacCorkle Ave.]. It’s just off U.S. 60. There’s plenty of parking there along the football practice field. It’s subject to change since the building is for sale.”
The Crafts of the Coal ice cream selection includes savory staple flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, along with cookie dough, butter pecan, Oreo, birthday cake, salted caramel, raspberry sorbet, and mint chocolate chip.
“We kicked around some of our favorites,” England said. “We polled some of our closest friends and families and did some national research.”
While most of the flavors are homemade with old-fashioned, traditional ingredients, the salted caramel is a sugar-free, keto-friendly, and low-carbohydrate choice. “We know that’s something people want,” the head coach said.
The Crafts of the Coal raspberry sorbet is dairy free and fat free as well.
There is also a potent “WV Pothole” flavor, a sweet combination of chocolate ice cream, black-tar fudge, and chunks of “chocolate asphalt.”
“We sold out of the WV Pothole in our grand opening — selling out six gallons the first day. It was a hit,” England said.
Sundaes are available, as are cones (sugar or waffle); small, medium and large cups of ice cream; and beverages such as soda and bottled water.
Customers can also customize their Crafts of the Coal confections with goodies such as strawberries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, Gummy Bears and candy bar- and cookie-derived toppings like Butterfinger, Reese’s and Heath. Peanuts, walnuts and pecans are topping options, as are whipped cream and chocolate, strawberry and caramel sauces.
“The plan is to continue to roll out; we will be rolling out new flavors as the weeks and months go by,” said England.
Customer suggestions for additional flavors are also being solicited on the Crafts of the Coal Facebook page.
Crafts of the Coal will be open throughout the summer months on Fridays through Sundays, with location updates and new items posted on “The Crafts of the Coal” page on Facebook.
“It’s our desire that people know where we are, so it’s important that people follow us on Facebook,” England said.
More information is also available by calling 681-799-1023.
England added that he and his Crafts of the Coal cohorts are hoping to book the trailer for private parties and other outings in the future and more information is available by calling them or messaging them on their Facebook page.
“Our home is St. Albans. We want to be here as much as possible,” England said.