COLUMBIA — Insect-filled cicada ice cream never had a chance to be placed in the display case at Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream before it was all gone.
Surprising the employees at Sparky's, the new flavor was so popular that it sold out Wednesday night before it was set to be out for display on Thursday.
"When we opened, Tony was just bombarded," Christian Losciale, an employee at Sparky's, said about the rush of customers looking for cicada ice cream Thursday morning. Sparky's employee Tony Layson was the first in the shop when it opened on Thursday.
The ice cream was supposed to make its debut Thursday, but as Columbians got word of the new flavor on Wednesday, curious customers went in early to see if they could try a scoop or two.
"Before we could put it out front we were selling it out of the back,"said Augustine Accurso, an employee at Sparky's about the sales Wednesday night.
After doing research online and tossing the idea around for a while, employees at Sparky's decided to go ahead with the idea of incorporating cicadas, the current seasonal pest, into its homemade ice cream.
"I didn't expect many people to try it," Accurso said. "We just made half of a batch as a fun, experimental batch." Accurso, Losciale and manager Ashley Nagel made the batch together.
The owner of Sparky's, Scott Southwick, had similar thoughts on how popular the new flavor would be.
"We thought we'd make a small batch and it would last forever," Southwick said.
The sales of cicada ice cream on Wednesday night proved otherwise.
For those still curious about tasting cicada ice cream, Sparky's will be making a second batch this weekend. Employees predict that it should be ready for the public Saturday night or Sunday.