Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, things have been a little off for all small communities – no interaction with friends and neighbors; no festivals and fairs to enjoy; just a lot of social distancing and mask wearing.
Now that it seems there is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, there are exciting new things on the horizon – festivals and fairs are returning; masks are no longer required for those who have been vaccinated; and new businesses are opening up.
One sweet new business is Little Rainbow Treat Co. – a new twist on the old-fashioned soda shoppe – owned and operated by Katie Workman, of Marlinton.
Instead of a permanent location, Workman is operating her sweets shop out of a truck trailer.
“I started thinking about the idea of wanting to have the feel of an old-fashioned soda shop, but obviously in a mobile truck,” she said. “The whole idea of nostalgia.”
Workman was inspired by her four-year-old daughter and co-worker, Iris, who loves to play ice cream shop.
At first, the plan was to be an ice cream truck, but it has expanded to include all kinds of candy, as well.
“I’ve got mixes that I’ve created,” Workman said of the candy. “We’ve got eight different mixes and then we’re also doing scoop bags. We also carry Hershey’s ice cream products. We have sundae cups, ice cream bars and pints of ice cream. We’re doing “make your own floats” and any of the sundae cups, pints and floats can have our candy added as a topping.”
Workman said she wanted something fun and enjoyable for all ages, but had kids in mind when she chose the sweet treat avenue. She wanted something affordable for the youngsters, as well.
“We wanted to really have something that kids could afford,” she said. “We do have some higher priced items, but the cheapest thing we have is twenty-five cents for a piece of taffy. We have a seventy-five cent popsicle, so I think we kind of hit the price ranges for everybody.”
As a way to give back to the kids, Workman is offering discounts to all 4-Hers who are registered in Pocahontas County.
Because the shop is mobile, Workman said she plans to travel around Marlinton as much as possible. She has plans to set up at the Discovery Junction, Marlinton Farmers Market and sporting events at Stillwell Park.
“I think what I’m going to try to do is have event pop ups,” she said. “We’re going to be at First Fridays. I don’t know exactly where we’ll set up, but we’ll definitely be at all the First Fridays. I want to be at the splash pad [at Discovery Junction] throughout the week. I’ll also just be out of my house, sometimes.”
Workman wants hers to be a fun new business in the county and hopes she brings a little joy in a post-pandemic world.
“At the heart of it, we just want to spread a little goodness,” she said. “There’s a lot of symbolism in the name. It comes from Iris – her name means rainbow. I feel like, after all we’ve been through in the last year, this will be the rainbow after the storm. We just want to spread a little cheer and make some people happy.”
Little Rainbow Treat Co. will have its grand opening Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m. at the Discovery Junction’s grand opening. The event will include music by The Bing Brothers Band and Jake Krack. The opening includes a free piece of taffy with a purchase and a chance to win a giant lollipop bundle.
For more information on the Little Rainbow Treat Co. and upcoming pop ups and events, visit their Facebook and Instagram pages.