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Frozen custard store Cudos opens at Town and Country

Sophomore Scarlett Cummings eats a vanilla custard at Cudos. The frozen custard store reopened in early October, getting off to a shaky start with supply chain issues and machinery failure. “It’s been tough. But I think we can get enough interest so that we can sustain and be profitable,” owner Lisa King said. (Eric Fan/The Campanile)

Cudos, a frozen custard shop in n ice cream shop at Town and Country that specializes in frozen custard and mini donuts, reopened in early October. after equipment malfunctions forced it to close just a few weeks after an August soft opening.

After opening in August, Cudos was forced to close their when equipment malfunctions hindered their ability to serve customers.

“We were open for about a week, and it was going really well—everyone seemed to like it,” owner Lisa King said. “Then, our main machine which made the frozen custard started breaking down and not working reliably. It was a struggle for me every day to try and get some frozen custard out, so we just decided to temporarily close down and get a new machine.”

King said she and her husband Hansel Lynn are long-time Palo Alto residents and experienced entrepreneurs. Lynn ran a School of Rock franchise and founded theCoderSchool, but  opening Cudos was a new kind of challenge. 

“The structure of Town and Country is really difficult in terms of driving and getting in and out,” King said.” The people we worked with, their freight carrier uses a huge, oversized truck, and they were very unhappy navigating through Town and Country. They basically told our supplier that they’re never going to deliver again.” 

In addition to shipping, King said a congested supply chain — which has plagued America for several months — also made it difficult for her and her husband to open the store on time. 

“Our first frozen custard machine was expected in April or May, and we didn’t get it until mid-June, so it delayed us by four to six weeks,” King said. “Even the cups we ordered in early June, we didn’t get them until late August. For our initial opening, we had to buy temporary cups that weren’t printed.”  

Economics teacher Debbie Whitson thinks that Cudos might have some other challenges ahead of them.

“There’s so much competition,” Whitson said. “How do you really make your restaurant different from anybody else? You’re competing directly with Tin Pot, and you can walk into Trader Joe’s and buy ice cream in a container, so it’s hard to distinguish yourselves.”

Still, Whitson says she thinks Cudos has a lot going for it. King is hopeful that Cudos is here to stay. 

“Stanford, Menlo Park, Palo Alto — they’re kind of right in the middle of all of that,” Whitson said ”What seems to have done well with this crowd are higher end goods, like higher end burgers or higher end pizza. Seems like people are looking for good food, and they’re willing to pay a little more for organic or for it to be tasty, which Cudos fits the bill.”

King is hopeful that Cudos is here to stay. 

“It’s been tough,” she said, “but I think we’ll be able to get enough interest so that we can sustain and be profitable.”

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