In 2016, after Kristal Bryant read about an eatery in Australia selling unique milkshakes, she decided to explore the dessert in her bakery, K&J’s Elegant Pastries
, in Alabaster, Alabama. Thus was born the K&J Original: a vanilla-chocolate swirl milkshake topped with whipped cream, a brownie, cookies-and-cream ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies, chocolate syrup, Oreo crumbs and a cherry.
“It’s massive,” Bryant says. “And it’s our best-seller.”
The K&J Original kicked off a menu of Kolossal Milkshakes that have dramatically boosted business. “Sales have increased 300 percent,” she continues. “It’s crazy how fast one product made that happen.”
A Cool Deal
Towering inches—sometimes feet—high, extreme milkshakes can be topped with all things dessert: candy, syrups, nuts, fruit, pastries and more. While the number of ingredients may seem costly, the shakes’ premium nature keeps them profitable, Bryant says.
And they require little advertising. Customers’ photos of Kolossal Milkshakes on social media spread the word quickly, increasing K&J’s Facebook follower number organically—from roughly 3,000 to more than 30,000.
Push Your Creativity
In addition to using her own tastes to develop shakes, Bryant works with her sales rep at Blue Bell Ice Cream and uses new flavors for seasonal Kolossal Milkshakes.
For last summer’s shake, Bryant jumped on a viral trend: “Unicorns and rainbow colors were so hot, so we were trying to come up with something bright and fun,” she explains. Enter the K&J Cotton Candy, a favorite among kids: a cotton candy ice cream shake with strawberry syrup topped with whipped cream, cotton candy, a cotton candy cupcake, pink and blue Sixlets, sprinkles and a lollipop.
Test for Success
A lot of testing goes into ensuring all the components of extreme milkshakes work together.
When customers asked K&J’s for a Reese’s-flavored shake, Bryant spent six months trying various ice cream combinations before finally landing on the winner: vanilla ice cream mixed with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
The hard work paid off: “People travel for hours to come and get these shakes,” Bryant says. “It’s insane.”
Click here to see the full Strawberry Dessert Extravaganza Milkshake Recipe