NEW VENTURE: Tammy Smith has take over as the new owner of Cold Rock Airlie Beach.
NEW VENTURE: Tammy Smith has take over as the new owner of Cold Rock Airlie Beach. Claudia Alp

New business owner's big plans

IT SURVIVED the test of time, not to mention damaging cyclones, but a local ice cream shop is about to break into the tourism industry for a reason you wouldn't expect.

Cold Rock Airlie Beach changed hands on April 9 and new owner Tammy Smith said she wants to promote the fact the shop is the smallest of its kind in Australia.

Ms Smith took the reins from franchise owners of 17 years Grant and Michelle Spivey, finally acting on her life-long dream to own an ice-cream shop.

She shared her hopes that Cold Rock would break into the Whitsunday tourism industry. "I want to promote globally as well as locally and get people realising this is the smallest Cold Rock in Australia," Ms Smith told the Whitsunday Times.

"Right next door (to Cold Rock) is the wall with all the murals on it. People stop to take photos with the mural when they're coming in to get an ice cream."

Ms Smith said she wants to advertise the store globally with a greater outreach on social media as well as marketing the fact the Airlie Beach shop is the "baby" of the franchise.

"I see that (its size) as being a major selling point. I want the locals to feel like this is their little shop," Ms Smith said. Cold Rock's ice cream is made in a factory in Cannonvale supplying the shop with a diverse range of flavours as well as colourful cakes.

But rarer flavours could be on the cards and Ms Smith wants the community to decide what they want.

The new ice-cream extraordinaire said she wanted to use Facebook to interact with customers so the needs of everybody's tastebuds are being met.

Ms Smith worked in Cold Rock for two months before she officially took over.

She said people buy ice cream for all different reasons but hopes everyone who comes into the store leaves with a smile.

"Ice cream is a comfort food in a way. People come in to get cakes for special occasions or dessert after dinner.

"People who might be a bit down come in to perk up a bit. Ice cream seems to put that smile on the dial for everybody."

Most importantly, Ms Smith paid tribute to the former owners who she said had survived the downturns of the economic climate and managed to stay strong through thick and thin.

"I want to pay tribute to the fact they have outlasted every other ice cream store," she said.

"They've both done all the hard yards to build it to what it is and they're handing the reins over for the first time.

"There is so much history in that shop, it would be wrong not to cover what has been done. I think it deserves something special."

Mr Spivey thanked the Airlie Beach community for their support the past 17 years.

"Michelle and I would like to thank the community for their support over the years. We know Tammy will carry on and grow this business bigger and better," he said.