Love Boat Ice Cream expands to downtown Fort Myers, explores franchise opportunities

Brian Borst didn’t know anything about running an ice cream shop when he bought Love Boat.
Growing it into Lee County’s burgeoning ice cream empire was the result of learning on the job over the course of eight years.
The Love Boat ice cream shop is located at 1512 Hendry Street.
Borst, who had spent 10 years working as a healthcare information technology specialist in Grants Pass, Oregon, learned everything he could about ice cream when he arrived. Prior to that, he had spent 10 years working in health systems management in suburban Chicago, and before that he had worked on F-16 fighter jets as an avionics specialist.
Borst worked at a Domino’s Pizza store during his college days. He said the experience gave him a taste of the restaurant business and planted the seeds for his ice cream renaissance more than 20 years later.
Borst was a Domino’s manager when he was in school. Borst created pizzas on Tuesdays when he was experimenting. There are barbecue chicken pizzas. Before they were ever made, we were making those kinds of pizzas.
The flagship Love Boat ice cream location has innovations happening inside. It is 500 yards south of the original one that opened in 1967, and is going to be demolished soon. Borst ran the original location and the nearby store at the same time.
Borst said that the flagship store outgrew it the day they moved in. We didn’t know we had a loyal following. We didn’t realize how big it was.
The doors were open. Borst created a double drive-through lane after the COVID-19 epidemic.
In order to expand his ice cream brand, Borst decided to lease the store instead of owning it.
Borst told Gulfshore Business that he could franchise the business across the state if he chose.
The expansion began when a Sanibel Island location opened in 2015.
The Village Walk shopping center opened in March of 2020.
The northwest corner of Pine Island Road and Del Prado Boulevard will be the location of Cape Coral’s first Love Boat.
The slower months of August and September in Southwest Florida allow Borst and his team to experiment with new flavors. Oatmeal Cream Pie is a childhood snack that evolved into one of the more unique flavors.
Soft, small batches of All Love Boat Ice Cream are placed into a hard freezer at 25 to 30 degrees below zero. After the ice cream has hardened in a two-gallon tub, it goes to the various on-site freezers where it is ready to be eaten.
On Tuesday, Borst’s team finished making 90 gallons of vanilla and moved on to making its tri-colored “Superman” ice cream.
Borst had a big hit from Hurricane Ian. The store was filled with water when the air conditioning unit on the roof collapsed. He wants to reopen by the end of the year.
The flagship store was flooded with four inches of water and the downtown location was behind schedule. Permits have delayed the opening of the Cape Coral store.
Borst said that there have always been bumps in the road. The progress has always been there. The idea of taking what has been created here over the last 50 years and expanding it and sharing it with more of the community was something I always wanted to do.
Borst said he would keep the quality control if Love Boat expanded through franchising. He doesn’t want the Love Boat Ice Cream brand to be cheap.
Borst wants to be different.

The boat removal process continues throughout Southwest Florida


Further into the process of removing boats here in Southwest Florida as thousands of boats have been spread out across the roads.

Many of our viewers are wondering what happens to the boats. The process of removing everything from 900-pound jet skis to boats weighing more than 50,000 pounds was discovered by me today.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” said Gary Gorman, the co-owner of the company.

His company has a partnership with Monroe Canal Marina.

The company works with insurers to explain the process. After the boats are brought up by a towboat, straps are put on them, they are taken by crane and placed on a flatbed to be taken a mile away.

There are those that are a total loss.

The ones that end up being a total loss will be crushed and sent to a landfill if there is recycling nearby.

Staci Stevens is the owner of Monroe Canal Marina and she has been able to keep her employees working. After the storm, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to sell shrimp and bait tackle at the marina. A natural transition from supplies for people needing food water all that stuff to actual vessels was made when local businesses looked for locations to unload boats.

A lot of the palm tree farm that used to be down the street was destroyed by Hurricane Ian.

Gary said, “I was walking around the yard a little while ago and it’s just pretty heartbreaking to see people’s dream boats that.”

There are still hundreds of boats to get to, so companies are a bit behind. The process could take months. Between the operations around St. James City, Matlacha, Pine Island, and their other crews, they have removed between 3 to 400 boats.