Clark Family Continues Kilwins Tradition in Downtown Franklin
Article by Dawn Burns
Photography by Provided
Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle
Since 1947, Kilwins has been a celebrated part of Americana having earned a reputation for providing high-quality chocolates, ice cream, and confections combined with excellent service. Kilwins’ heritage was built on the simple premise of creating products from the finest ingredients and providing customers with great service.
When Kilwins owner Ashley Clark was 22 years old, she was living at home with her parents with a degree from Clemson University, working a job she’d had since she was 15 years old. Her dad posed the question, “Have you ever thought about owning a Kilwins franchise?” That was October 2012 and Kilwins in Greenville, South Carolina was opened on Friday, September 27, 2013. For the next five years, Ashley and her husband, Landon, worked together to build a successful business with the mission of creating enjoyment and making people happy. They thought they were getting into the ice cream business, but what they soon realized was that they were in the people business. In 2018, Ashley was selected as the South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the United States Small Business Association and in 2021, as the Inaugural Young ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient by the Greenville Chamber.
Fast forward to today, and customers may be surprised to know that the Clarks have an incredible work-life balance even though they own and operate five Kilwins stores in three different states, have two kids under 2, and have moved six different times for work since working with Kilwins. They say the key is getting lots of help! And they are still eating at Kilwins on a regular basis after nine years.
The Clarks love being a part of the Franklin community. They took over the Franklin location in June of 2021. “It’s truly an honor to be a part of such a special, vibrant, historic community! I don’t take it lightly at all. I remember when the Franklin High School homecoming parade went through downtown last fall – it gave me chills. It’s such a fun, down-home tradition that you don’t get just anywhere. I also love the patriotism in downtown Franklin. Never before have I gotten so excited about Flag Day as I have since living here. The American flags on the square on Flag Day are a beautiful sight!”
Ashley loves helping others with business, so stop by for a scoop or two. She will happily chat business with you too! When Ashley isn’t at her Kilwins, you can find her at Hester and Cook shopping for entertaining essentials. Kilwins.com