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Flying Dolly’s maintains an eye on growth

Renamed for a one-eyed pug, Louisiana-based former Just Chillin finds spot in dessert space


Flying Dolly’s, which changed its name from Just Chillin last year, provides a wide menu of snoballs, ice cream, cookies, and other sweet treats.

The Mandeville, La.-based company is headed by Nick Binnings, partner and acting president, who helped to build the Another Broken Egg café franchise organization.

“Flying Dolly’s has been around for almost 13 years,” Binnings said in an interview. “We recently did a name change last year from Just Chillin to Flying Dolly’s. We had to do a name change, because we couldn't get the trademark, and there's too many other Just Chillin’s out there in the market doing something similar in the dessert space.”

The concept was created by Jeff and Corey Robertson, who had a dog named Dolly. The dog loved to jump in their suitcase, Binnings said, and had a storied career, being noted for wanting to travel with the family.

“In the early days, they started as a snoball stand down here in South Louisiana,” Binnings recalled. “Snoball stands are very, very popular. In other areas of the United States, they call it shaved ice. Snoballs, the differentiation is it's a really fine, fine, almost like snow that you would find in Colorado.”

It started off with snoballs, just started using regular ice cream from a local distributor.Binnings said the Robertsons bought a machine to shave the ice

“About 10 years later, he really had a cult-like following,” Binnings said. “He makes amazing ice cream, has over 50 flavors, probably in his recipe book, probably keeps 25 to 30 flavors at the main unit. And it's truly incredible ice cream. And I think that's what makes us stand out on top of having the snoballs. It allows us to have stuffed snoballs.”

Binnings said Flying Dolly’s aims to be a “sweet treat destination.”

“Our normal hours are from 12 to eight o 'clock in the evening, seven days a week,” he said. “During the winter down south in New Orleans, you know, we get a little bit of a winter, so we do close on certain days, but we're technically open all year long.”

Flying Dolly’s has opened its fourth unit.

“We have our main company store in Mandeville, La.,” Binnings said. “We just bought out a competitor in New Orleans called Pandora's. We kept the name Pandora's because it's been an institution in New Orleans.”

“We have two franchisees — or one franchisee open and a second unit in Jackson, Miss., later this month,” Binnings said.

The top-selling flavor for the snoballs is honeycomb, though flavors range from I spearmint, raspberry, grape, strawberry, and pina colada.

“For cookies, oatmeal, chocolate chip, and we also do a custom ice cream sandwich,” Binnings said. “That's why we brought in the cookies, to allow us to do something a little bit different. And that's really starting to take off.”

Price points for the ice cream sandwiches are $5 to $6, he said.

“We're based in Louisiana,” Binnings said. “And right now we're only looking in East Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Panhandle of Florida. It's all within a couple hours drive for us. If we just focused on the Southeast right now.”

Flying Dolly’s units range from 200 square feet to about 1,400 square feet.

“So 1,500 square feet and under is kind of our model,” Binnings said. “But there's some non- traditional spaces and, especially when you get in New Orleans, for example, we're looking at another company unit on Magazine Street. It's probably 400 or 500 square feet.”

Binnings added: “We're excited about this brand. … it's a fun brand.”

Vote for Flying Dolly’s in the NRN Dessert Showdown on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on X/Twitter: @RonRuggless

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