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Meet John Woolley and Brett Allen of Woolley’s Frozen Custard in Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Woolley and Brett Allen.

John and Brett, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Opening a frozen custard shop was something that we both joked about for years.

All through college we bartended together and were roommates. After college, we both got corporate jobs which lasted for about a year and a half, then we decided t0 go after a dream in 2002. In April of 2003, we opened the first Woolley’s Frozen Custard on North Beach St. in North Fort Worth. Instantly getting involved in the community was important to us, so we started doing fundraisers for the local schools. It Quickly branched out to selling at over 17 schools a week, as well as many events. We raise thousands of dollars a month for area schools. Also, we started a “Where have you been in your Woolley’s shirt” wall in our store.

Customers and friends have sent in pictures from all over the world wearing a Woolley’s shirt. In 2005, we opened a second location in Hurst. This location was only open until 2009 due to a road construction project that forced us to close. In September of 2014 we decided to open a 2nd location off Heritage Trace Parkway in North Fort Worth. We continue to be involved in the community, serve quality frozen custard, and try and have fun while we work. Who knows what the future holds for Woolley’s!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Owning a small business does have its challenges. In the beginning, it was finding funding to start our dream. We were turned down by numerous financial institutions.

Some of them even told us maybe we should consider selling hamburgers or fries, because frozen custard alone will not work. Finally, we found a bank that took a chance on us. Another challenge is sometimes the hours we work. Being open from noon to 10p or 11p every night 7 days a week means work never stops. We have been lucky over the years to find some great employees, some of who have stayed with us for years. Then there is healthcare insurance – a cost which has gone up every year since we opened. Even with all these struggles, I feel it is worth it!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Woolley’s Frozen Custard story. Tell us more about the business.
Woolley’s specializes in making frozen custard fresh daily. We formulated our original recipe back in 2003 and have been serving it ever since. Frozen Custard is a gourmet ice cream. It contains more egg yolk than traditional ice cream. The biggest difference is the way it is made. We use an old fashioned frozen custard machine, and only the highest quality toppings and mix ins. We are proud that we started Woolley’s and built it from the ground up, considering no one advised us on how to do things; we learned as we went. Woolley’s has always wanted to be involved in the community and fundraising at the schools allowed us to do just that. If you go to any of the area schools most of the kids know Woolley’s well. We have and continue to raise a large amount of money for many different organizations at local schools. I think what sets us apart from others is that Brett and I still are involved in the day to day operation. Being small and family owned has been fun. We have made some great friendships with some of our customers over the years.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Although I do feel very fortunate for the success we have had, I am not a big believer in luck. We have had our ups and downs, if you want to say good luck and bad luck I guess you can. However, I feel we have gotten this far by working hard and not giving up when things are tough.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
John Woolley

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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