ST. JOSEPH -- A local ice cream business known for creative, eclectic flavors is making the leap from pedal cart to brick-and-mortar.

Jupiter Moon, founded in May of 2019, will be moving into 15 E. Minnesota St. in downtown St. Joseph, the suite formerly occupied by Bad Habit Brewing Company.

“We’ve always had the intention of getting into our own space,” owner and ice cream creator David Boyer said. “We want to create a place that’s joyful, celebratory and inclusive. Those places are hard to come by in central Minnesota, so instead of hunting around for a place to be in, we thought we’d make one.”

Bad Habit moved out of the Millstream Shops and Lofts building and into their current location on College Avenue right around the time Boyer launched Jupiter Moon. He's had his eye on the vacancy ever since.

“I kept my eyeballs on it,” he said. “In my anecdotal research of spaces, it seems to be the one most suited for success as an ice cream shop. It’s relatively turnkey. It’s in a really great location in terms of a storefront on a busy street. It has a deck off to the side.”

Late last year, the owner of the building reached out to Boyer to see if he was interested in taking over the space.

“Of course I was,” he said. “But I just wasn’t ready yet.”

Boyer says St. Joseph is the ideal community for Jupiter Moon.

Jupiter Moon Ice Cream
David Boyer, owner of Jupiter Moon Ice Cream

“I really did want to shoot for downtown St. Cloud, but I just couldn’t find a space there that offered the benefits of this indoor/outdoor space,” he said."

Boyer expects to sign the lease for the shop in the next few days. The majority of Jupiter Moon’s costs to open will be covered by a large SBA loan, with additional help from a smaller revolving loan from the St. Joseph Economic Development Authority.

“COVID-19 actually made this a great time to (open the store),” he said. “Small business loans are a really good deal right now with very good terms. It made this possible.”

Once he gets the keys to the building, Boyer plans to do a little remodeling. He says the store's decor will reflect the catchy, whimsical style showcased by the business’ ice cream cart.

“We’ll make it Jupiter-Moonish,” he laughed. “We’ll capture the look and feel of our cart and a lot of that branding will some forward in our store. We’ll probably add another color to our branding. It’s all cool colors right now.”

More practical changes will include the addition of a counter top specific to serving ice cream, a few walls in the back-of-house production area, and a walk-up ordering window adjacent to a patio seating area.

Boyer says the expansion will give him the space he needs to create and experiment with new flavors. He's particularly interested in experimenting with fruits, and has plans to incorporate regional ingredients and flavors like chokecherry and rhubarb.

“I certainly respect the standard flavors out there,” Boyer said. “But we like to push the boundaries a little bit on what might be considered normal ice cream. I like flavors that are sort of outside the boundaries. Strawberry basil is on the list, as is chocolate with rosemary. As we move into the new space, we’ll have a lot more capabilities for creativity, which I don’t have in the rental kitchen.”

Boyer doesn’t have a specific opening date for Jupiter Moon in mind, but hopes to welcome customers into the shop before the end of the summer. He's hired a shop manager and plans to hire several more employees in coming months.

As for the Jupiter Moon ice cream cart, Boyer says it will probably make appearances at local events now and then. His goal is to bring the enjoyment of ice cream to as many people as he can.

“Ice cream is joy,” Boyer said. “It’s nostalgia. It means more than just ice cream to almost everybody. So, I’m anxious to get in there and create.”

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