as well. Patrons use a robot to design and
serve layered ice cream treats that are
chosen from several options. The robots
offer entertainment with sights and sounds
while the ice cream is being “constructed”
according to the programmed instructions
of the customer. The final reward is a treat
that is delightful to the eye and taste buds.
We are refining and expanding the options
available through our ice cream robots, and
in the near future we will have robotic
machines for other applications as well.
This is an area where we see a great deal of
potential growth for our company.
Additionally, Discovery will always
continue to offer premium ice creams and
coffees—all made in-house and served by
humans. We have dozens of flavors of ice
creams, several of which have been
suggested by creative-minded employees
and customers. We change a few of the
flavors each month to keep up with
seasons and holidays of the year and maintain that atmosphere of progressive
TOS: Speaking of atmosphere, there
seems to be an inviting presence here. Is
that intentional, or am I overreacting to the
double shot of espresso in my serving of
your Global Warming confection?
Allan Jones: The caffeine may be influencing you a bit, but we really try to make
this a comfortable connecting place. We
wanted to make it a destination where
families and friends congregate and take a
while to enjoy a tasty treat and each other.
With free WiFi™, we have a number of
folks eating ice cream or drinking coffee
and reading their e-mails or doing business
communications, and sometimes we see
youngsters getting together doing schoolwork while Mom and Dad are at another
table talking with friends.
We encourage our servers to mingle with
the folks sitting at the booths and tables to
let them know how much we appreciate
their being here. We look for feedback from
our customers on what they like and what
they might want us to improve. That interaction is another way the young folks who
work here can hone their people skills and
also serve as ambassadors for our company.
Practicing hospitality is a virtue, and we
want to promote that virtue.
TOS: What are your future plans for the
Allan Jones: Glad you asked. We are just
beginning to franchise and license the
concept. We started marketing this in mid-
April and have had many inquiries, even
from places as far away as Jordan and
Dubai. I just got back from Japan, where I
met with potential joint venture partners.
We are very encouraged about these
prospects and several other novel ideas that
have sprung from the fertile imaginations
of a number of our young employees you
have seen here today.
TOS: We have greatly enjoyed our time
here at Discovery and getting to know
more about you and how you are using this
business to spread the influence of homeschooling and Godliness in this community. If our readers are interested in
exploring further how to use innovation in
their own homeschools or family businesses or even more about the Discovery
Ice Cream story, how can they get in touch
Allan Jones: We have an excellent website
at www.DiscoveryIceCream.com with
lots of animation and resource links, as
well as the usual contact information. I can
be reached at 423.863.8901. I spoke this
summer in Boston at “Robots 2008: What’s
Next,” and we are looking for other oppor-
folks at homeschooling
Christian business groups
coming year. We
look forward to
seeing you back
Sam Woodall and his wife are veteran homeschoolers who are long-term advocates of
the principle that a Christian family should
be obedient to God’s commands to use His
Word as the basis for lifelong learning. They
continue to encourage younger families to
follow that example in raising up subsequent generations.