If you’ve driven down West Pearl Street by the square, you’ve probably noticed the adorable pink wrought iron chairs and tables under the green awning at the new Taste and See frozen yogurt and salad bar. Reminiscent of the soda shops of the 50s and 60s, it beckoned me, so a friend and I set up a lunch date. Inside the shop, the quiet atmosphere and tables for two inspire personal conversation. Church pews along one wall provide seating for groups.
Stenciled in beautiful calligraphy on the wall opposite the door is Psalm 34:8: “Taste and See that the Lord is good!” Intrigued by the verse and the placards on the table announcing the mission of the month, I was excited to have the opportunity to interview the owners. Taste and See has significant meaning for Kim and Stephen Schultz. Their love story could be described as serendipity, but they consider it divine providence.
While serving as Children’s Minister at Acton Methodist Church, Kim was searching for good, reliable volunteers to help with the program. Stephen had lost his mother, father and sister in a plane crash. Youth minister Kevin Anderson invited Stephen to have a memorial reception and meal at the church, and they connected. Another pastor in the church began ministering to Stephen and suggested he work with kids.
Stephen asked Kim to dinner. She agreed thinking they would discuss the children’s ministry, but he ended up asking her out for a date before agreeing to volunteer. As they worked together, she witnessed his heart for kids and fell in love with him. They became engaged in April 2016, and married in September 2016.
The couple wanted to start a family business where they could teach their future children a strong work ethic. God gave them a vision—His plan and His vision for their future. They wanted a business that would honor God and bring people into the Kingdom. While walking around the square, they saw a “For Sale” sign two doors down from the actual square. They contacted the realtor and had a contractor friend estimate the cost of renovations. They felt the property was reasonably priced and the perfect size. They devised a business plan, a name, and a tithing principle, vowing to give ten percent of their monthly profits to a mission- oriented organization of the month. While serving as children’s minister, Kim learned that business fundraisers for a day netted a minimal amount.
God opened the door for them to purchase and renovate the building at 105 West Pearl St., which was built in 1880. The rock walls on both sides of the building and the timber roof are original. Kim and Stephen wanted the restoration to honor and respect the traditional history of the building. Asbestos removal added to the long process, but the happy owners held the grand opening on June 25, 2018.
The name Taste and See demonstrates their desire to be a light in the community, so people can experience and recognize the goodness of God. The peaceful atmosphere of the shop represents the relationship available with the Lord. Taste and See is a safe, welcoming place where people can come together as friends and community to point others to the Lord.
Stephen utilizes his background in public service and management in the operation of the business. Since he has experience cooking for children’s camps and teaching teens to cook, he mans the kitchen. Taste and See has something for everyone. Four full-flavored soups are offered each day, including standard Vegetarian Vegetable and other choices such as Chicken Pablano and Baked Potato.
The Schultzes wanted to create a place where people have healthy options, such as low carbs, gluten-free, sugar-free, or choices for other dietary concerns. The fresh, self-serve salad bar offers over fifty items, including a great selection of proteins. They have been surprised that more people come in for the salad bar than for the frozen yogurt.
I felt like a kid in a candy store trying to choose from the sixteen flavor options of real frozen yogurts, sorbets, and fruit whips, with “tons of toppings.” I finally settled on the yummy peanut butter cup. The frozen yogurt is low calorie and made with premium, natural ingredients, and some are gluten free. Items from the salad bar and yogurt section are sold by the weight at fifty cents per ounce.
The inviting pink and green décor makes the shop attractive to children, young and old alike. All are welcome. Kim said, “This place makes me happy—the environment, music, food. Each of the accessories has a personal meaning.” The two-seater bicycle hanging on the front wall of the store came from dear friends. It and other bicycles inside and out remind the Shultzes that they are partners working together, moving forward. The picture of the 1945 Chevy truck was from their wedding at the Thistle Springs Ranch in Cleburne. The ceiling fan and rustic lights came from the Wagon Yard. Wainscoting, painted to look like reclaimed barn wood, covers the supporting poles along the walls. The geckos represent I Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If the gecko loses its tail, it grows another one. Everybody messes up sometimes. We all need second chances, and God gives us those chances.
Taste and See could become a new safe hangout for teenagers. On Friday and Saturday nights, they offer young people a venue to share their musical gifts. Mattie Purvis plays piano and sings. Micah Young sings Rockabilly and 50s music accompanied by Jackson Dyer on drums. Chris Willis, who leads worship at Generations Church, also sings. The kids aren’t paid, but a tip jar is available.
Another unique feature is the Community Room at the back of the shop. Groups can meet for prayer, Bible study, book clubs and writing groups free of charge. The room is available by reservation during regular operating hours: 11:00am-9:00pm Monday through Thursday, 11:00am-10:30pm Friday and Saturday, and Noon-6:00pm on Sunday.
Business is blossoming, but they have room for more growth. They plan to add a hot chocolate bar with hot cider and teas during the fall and winter months. Kim and Stephen are entering a new season in life, waiting on the Lord to build their family.
The couple wanted to have children right away but discovered that was not an option. Feeling confident the Lord wants them to adopt, they have begun the adoption process. After being disappointed by two adoption opportunity “disruptions,” they are waiting to see where God leads, what doors He opens and what He has in store for their future. Even though they don’t know the details of God’s plan, they trust Him to fulfill His promises in His time. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”