I used to live just minutes from three separate Twistee Treat locations in Ohio, but I didn't really fully appreciate them until I moved 450 miles away. One was even located in the parking lot of the grocery store, where I shopped at least once a week—and I only ever stopped for ice cream once. I actually never did much in Ohio when I was actually living in Ohio, but after I moved away I've now seen Twistee Treats in Niagra Falls, southern Ohio and even revisited the ones in my old neighborhood.
Twistee Treat is a relatively new entry into the novelty architecture canon— the corporate chain was founded in 1983 in North Fort Myers, Florida. Because of its origins, Florida is still lousy with the iconic ice-cream-shaped buildings, and I knew we had to stop at at least one on our recent Florida trip.
This isn't a problem I usually encounter with roadside attractions, but there are almost too many Twistee Treats in Florida, especially around the Orlando area. Thankfully, I was able to do some research via Google Maps, and I virtually traveled to each one, searching for a stand-out. Most of the cones look very similar, and in fact all of the corporate stores are marked with their trademark chocolate dip and tiny, LED sprinkle lights. The original Twistee Treat company actually went bankrupt in the 90s, but new companies bearing the name and patents for the buildings were formed. There are still some privately owned stands operating, and new cones are still being produced.
I had focused my research to the Orlando/Kissimmee area, figuring that we'd be down for an ice cream treat somewhere between shopping at Orange World and our adventures in Gatorland. When I found a Twistee Treat with large, pastel sprinkles (or SPRANKLES, as I noted on my Google Map) I knew that I had found the winner.
But before we even got there, we happened upon yet another Twistee Treat when we stopped for lunch—about a mile away from the sprinkle cone (apparently Twistee Treats are to Florida what Starbucks stores are to New York). This one was the corporate design, appeared to be brand new and wasn't open until later in the afternoon but I'll never tire of just being in close proximity to such delightful novelty architecture.
We finally did make it to the sprinkle cone (where I got ... a sprinkle cone) and although the light was in the very wrong spot (a problem we seemed to have all day), I will always be at my happiest when I'm making a purchase from a building shaped like what it contains.
Twistee Treat Kyngs Heath
2952 Vineland Rd
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Twistee Treat of Kissimmee (large sprinkles)
4722 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
issimmee, FL 34746