Writer / Heather Chastain
Photographer / Dyan Acosta
Faith, family and Frost Bite are the driving forces behind the local dessert shop owner’s success. Steve Keisker and his wife Shelly have been running this Frost Bite for 26 years now.
“We built this business from nothing. It was a real grassroots effort,” said Keisker who credits his wife with choosing the name for the shop. However, knowledge of the ice cream business is generational in this family. Keisker’s father owned a Dairy Queen franchise back in 1965, and it became the second oldest franchisee at that time.
Keisker worked at Dairy Queen for the majority of his professional career before deciding he wanted to work for himself. He had the opportunity to make this a family endeavor by incorporating his wife and two sons into building the business.
“I’ve had aspirations of growing this bigger, but I like keeping it small and local. Sometimes when people grow too big, they lose focus, and I don’t want to lose focus on what we’re doing,” said Keisker.
A community advocate, Keisker supports the Avon Community School Corporation through donations and sponsorships to programs such as football, wrestling and band. Frost Bite also sponsors events for the American Legion. The business provides an ice cream truck at the Blue Star Ceremony.
Keisker offers “pay what you want” pricing with all of the proceeds going to the Indy Honor Flight Programs. “It’s been a great experience. You’d be amazed the people who throw down $20 for a cup of ice cream just because they know it’s going to a good cause. I’m proud to say we’ve raised enough money for veterans to go to Washington, D.C., through our ice cream truck support at the event.”
One community tradition that’s driving people to Frost Bite weekly is the Thursday Night Cruise-In. It’s an opportunity for people to bring their classic cars and hot rods out, meet new friends and share car stories. “I’ve always had a passion for cars. I had a muscle car in high school,” said Keisker.
In 2008, Shelly gave Steve the surprise of a lifetime when she presented him with a ’57 Chevy. “Two weeks before Christmas, she had this car delivered on a flatbed truck with a red bow on it. It was such a surprise! Usually you talk about these things! She did this all on her own. I had no idea she was going to do it. It brought me a lot of joy which I needed. It was a somber time. My dad had recently died,” said Keisker.
So he and his two boys, Dustin and Brandon, did a full restoration on the vehicle. It is now on display at the U.S. Nationals.
Thursday Night Cruise-Ins have become a popular place for classic car aficionados. “We get between 12-30 cars a week. Some very nice people come out. They feel comfortable here. They respect and patronize the business. I really enjoy it,” said Keisker.
The Cruise-Ins happen every Thursday, weather permitting, from 5:30-9 p.m. and will continue through mid-October.
Frost Bite is known for their ice cream, frozen yogurt, milkshakes and breaded tenderloin sandwiches. The shop is open daily.