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Check Out Joyce Infante’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joyce Infante.

Hi Joyce, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
After long fulfilling careers in the Bay Area of California, Scott and I decided to pack things up, rent our house, and travel. Scott’s career spanned decades and millions of dollars for a leading manufacturing corporation in the Western US.

My experience was in computer service as a repair technician and later as a Customer Success Manager for a start-up internet-rich media marketing company.

We and our dog Bella explored the United States and in 2017 we discovered the picturesque Upstate SC. In efforts to keep ourselves busy, we worked part-time, as we traveled, for marketing that published and printed campground guest guides.

After visiting the Gaffney KOA a couple of times, and becoming familiar with the area and its people, we decided this is where we wanted to stay. We bought a house and planted roots. Our daughter, Jenny visited us saw and appreciated the same appeal we did.

After many successful years in Los Angeles, as a manager in a multi-million dollar luxury retail store, she decided to make a change, so she moved and now enjoys the quieter pace of country living with us.

Although we cherish the peace and quiet country living offers, all three of us have a deep well of energy and drive. So we decided to open a coffee shop and ice cream parlor, two things that make people very happy. There’s something nostalgic about ice cream that conjures fond memories and makes us smile.

Coffee has a magical effect on most people, or can at least give a sense of comfort for some. We chose Cowpens due to the authentic and true nature of the community. The sincere caring that people display for one another is sometimes overwhelming.

We saw that this town needed something special to call its own; something that is just as special as the people that live here. We wanted to create a unique space that is beautiful and comfortable, where families and friends can join in relaxing and catching up with each other.

I love it when a family comes in for ice cream and sees their neighbor’s family in the lounge and they all end up sitting together visiting.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
“Smooth” is not a word I would use to describe the road we’ve been on for the past 12 months. But it’s nothing that we couldn’t handle. Scott and I are not ones that shy away from a challenge and we make a pretty good team when it comes to “fixing things up”.

The building was in bad shape when we took possession. It had two tenants, one of which was vacating the property. After talking with the tenant that decided to stay, Dead On Gun Works, we came up with a plan to renovate the building, move DOG to a bigger space and use the rest to create a special place for people to enjoy.

It was difficult at times, to find reliable and accessible professionals that wanted to take on some of the projects we had planned. We did a lot of the work ourselves but hit a snag with Spartanburg County permitting office. Our project came to a complete stop about two months before completion and there were more than a few nights that we lye awake worrying.

Also, the amount of planning and online and in-store shopping was overwhelming. We struggled to come up with appropriate pricing, and appealing menu items (in addition to the ice cream and coffee), and then there was trying not to forget anything needed to open a restaurant.

We did a lot of research on a lot of different vendors and a lot of different products, because we wanted everything to be high quality and well thought out.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’ve always been in the customer service industry.

My early years were in the restaurant and hospitality sector, then I became a mobile computer service and repair technician, and ended my professional years in California as a Customer Success Manager for an internet marketing company that created rich media for multi-billion dollar retail websites.

Most of my professional colleagues know me as someone they can always count on, who goes far beyond the typical aspect of serving the client/customer while keeping the needs of my company in perspective. I always do what I say I’m going to do, and consciously and consistently make the extra effort to do it with kindness, humility, patience, and forgiveness.

I don’t consider myself a proud person, so it’s hard for me to talk about my accomplishments. I just always want to help others, make them happy and make them feel good about themselves. My favorite saying is from the Dalai Lama “If you can’t help someone, at least don’t hurt them.”

Scott’s career spanned almost 40 years for a leading manufacturer of architectural coatings. His drive and integrity served him well in accomplishing many decades of million-dollar sales and achieving multiple company-wide sales awards.

Scott’s unique and down-to-earth character set him far apart from others in his field. He is known for his loyalty, sincerity, generosity, and dedication to the highest quality service. Scott’s colleagues always went to him for advice, and sometimes still do.

Jenny started her career in retail sales. She loves people and has an uncanny ability to see who a person is and determine their likes and tastes for whatever is on topic. She has several years of experience as a barista in a busy corporate store cafe in Orange County California.

Despite working in a high energy hectic environment, Jenny makes each person feel truly special. Her journey took her down the path of management at a multimillion-dollar luxury retail store in Hollywood California.

Jenny’s ability to manage multiple projects while keeping her poise and genuinely pleasant attitude is only one of her many strengths. Her colleagues know her for going beyond what’s expected of her and for her creative vision.

Any big plans?
Plans for the future include continuing to serve the community of Cowpens with warmth, sincerity, delicious ice cream, and savory coffee.

We also plan to coordinate themed entertainment nights that include ‘true crime’ podcasts, family games, and themed trivia. We’re even exploring the idea of hosting book readings from local authors/poets or possibly even live musical entertainment.

We’re still creating our out outdoor space and hope to have it ready soon so people can play corn-hole or giant Jenga games.

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