Extra scoop of customer service

Owner drives 400 miles to serve customer

By EMILY WEAVER
Managing editor
Posted 9/3/21

Two ice cream flavors so hot you have to sign a waiver to try them? Pete Mavromatis was intrigued.

He first learned of the Cold Sweat and Exit Wound flavors of homemade ice cream at Sunni …

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Extra scoop of customer service

Owner drives 400 miles to serve customer

Posted

Two ice cream flavors so hot you have to sign a waiver to try them? Pete Mavromatis was intrigued.

He first learned of the Cold Sweat and Exit Wound flavors of homemade ice cream at Sunni Sky’s on a PBS North Carolina spotlight episode.

“I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta have this,’” he said. “I have a good buddy of mine who has cancer and has been going through some stuff. He loves hot stuff so he’s like, ‘We’ve gotta get it.’”

But his friend lives in Richmond, Virginia and couldn’t make the trip to Angier. Mavromatis was in Charlotte. He called Sunni Sky’s and talked to its owner, Scott Wilson.

He told Wilson about his friend and why they really wanted to try his hottest ice cream.

Exit Wound was too hot to leave the store in pints, but Wilson told him he could deep freeze a pint of the Cold Sweat for Mavromatis’ next trip to Richmond.

“I put five flavors aside. The most important one I wanted was Cold Sweat that you had to sign a waiver for,” Mavromatis said. “I go in there with my cooler and as soon as I walk in — I mean the place was packed — as soon as I walk in Scott turns around and he goes, ‘You gotta be Pete.’”

Mavromatis sampled some of Wilson’s 125-plus flavors as a scooper packed up his order.

He left the store without checking it. When he reached Richmond, he noticed only four pints in his cooler. He called Wilson in a cold sweat, missing his pint of Cold Sweat.

Wilson asked him for his address in Richmond.

“I’m like, ‘why?’ He said, ‘I’m leaving right now,’” Mavromatis said. “I told him, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it, Scott.’”

Wilson got the address from the friend Mavromatis went to see and hit the road about 7:30 p.m. He arrived in Richmond with Mavromatis’ order around 10:30 that night.

“Low and behold, Scott drove from there, a two-and-a-half hour trip at least, and back to get me a $4.50 pint of ice cream,” Mavromatis said. “He spent probably $70 in gas to give a customer $4.50 of ice cream that was basically the customer’s fault because I didn’t check my order. And in today’s day and time ... we’re lacking in customer service in so many different fields.”

But not Wilson, he said. Wilson drove nearly 400 miles round trip to satisfy his customer that night.

“Basically I had the option of disappointing someone very, very nice and kind,” Wilson said, the kind of man who was “doing something to take care of his friend. ... We were the weak link in the big plan. He drives from Charlotte to here and then he drives to Richmond and now he’s got everything but nothing.”
Wilson’s choice was clear.

“It was the right thing to do, so we did it,” Wilson said. “I got back about 2 in the morning and was walking the pups at 3 so it was still a good day.”

Wilson and his wife started Sunni Sky’s, named for their children Sunni and Skylar, in 2003.

“We started the business caring about our customers and we haven’t given up yet,” Wilson said.

Customers noticed. The Angier location quickly became a hot spot for cold treats, garnering attention across the state and nation and often winning The Daily Record’s Best of Harnett accolades. When Wilson announced in January that the shop was up for sale, hundreds of pleas for them to stay poured in on Facebook.

The business is still up for sale, but Wilson says they are working with other like-minded partners to find how to keep it going and growing. His customers still come first in that decision.

“We’re just kind of seeing what’s going to be the best fit for the community,” Wilson said. “It’s good we hung in there with these labor problems and everything else. I wouldn’t have wanted to just dump that on to someone else’s shoulders.”

And what did Mavromatis think of the ice cream?

“I loved it,” he said. It “reminded me of my childhood hitting Kings Ice Cream in Lewes, Delaware at our beach house. I’m lactose intolerant, but (a) few times a year I gotta do it.”

He’s a Sunni Sky’s fan for life, now. “... Our world needs more people like Scott.”

Emily Weaver can be reached at eweaver@mydailyrecord.com or at 910-230-2028.

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