The Crazy Mason offers up delectable dessert creations
The line for the Crazy Mason milkshake bar weaves past bowling lanes and out the door of 810 Billiards and Bowling in the Market Common, sometimes stretching for two blocks, while patrons dream of the sweet potential around the corner. Many will wait two hours for a Build Me Up Butter Cup or a Sweet Cheeses, or any of their 60 unique dessert creations; all the dream of owners Bo and Sherri Steele of Myrtle Beach.
A North Myrtle Beach location, also within 810 Billiards and Bowling, is only slightly less busy than at the Market Common and three more Crazy Masons are in development just behind the recently opened Gatlinburg, TN, location. Soon, Mount Pleasant, S.C., Pigeon Forge, TN, and Asheville, N.C. will have Crazy Masons of their own.
“My wife and I have traveled a good bit, and we’ve seen similar concepts,” says Bo Steele, taking a break from what he says is an “insane” work schedule. “Sherri and I both have that entrepreneurial spirit, and we tweaked what we saw in Las Vegas [and other spots] to come up with the Crazy Mason. We just wanted one Crazy Mason location, something for Sherri to run. We had no idea how it would take off.”
Each Grand Strand location sells an average of 1,000 desserts each day in the height of the summer season. Each of the larger desserts averages $12.50-$14.50. Though they are plenty big enough to share, few customers do, lording over their dessert and hyper-focusing on the artistry, color, content and taste of what can only be described as a dazzling spectacle. Smaller confections run around $6-$9 each.
The original Crazy Mason opened in Market Common in June 2020. The North Myrtle Beach and Gatlinburg locations both opened a year later. The success lead to exponential growth. Luckily, the Steeles were well trained.
“I started out as a dishwasher for Divine Dining Group here in Myrtle Beach when I was 16 years old,” says Bo Steele, “and worked my way up, staying with them for 14 years. Then I went to work for U.S. Foods and was there for 13 years.”
That level of proficiency, understanding supply chain and restaurant fundamentals in a tourist market set them up for success.
To call these “milkshakes” doesn’t do them justice. In fact, a dozen or more of the desserts are more akin to sundaes or customizable treats, sometimes made up of just the toppings. The bulk of the business comes from the edible works of art delivered in a take-home mason jar, emblazoned with The Crazy Mason logo.
“A customer helped us come up with our slogan, ‘Where Calories Don’t Count,’ which we’ve since trademarked,” says Steele, “and my wife and I came up with the fun names,” noting that the Build Me Up Buttercup is their number-one seller. It starts with premium vanilla ice cream blended with Reese’s Peanut Butter sauce, loaded into a mason jar, swirled with chocolate and peanut butter, rimmed in peanut butter, then rolled in crushed Reese’s Pieces, topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and two peanut butter cups.
Other options are served in a cup, between two cookies, or on a waffle. Each is hand-built while you wait.
The Crazy Colada, for example, is served in a mason jar. It starts with coconut ice cream mixed with pineapple chunks, a vanilla iced rim with vanilla wafers, topped with a large pineapple wedge, a slice of three-layer coconut cake, whipped cream, and crushed graham crackers. The Crazy Colada, and any of its ambitious equivalents, are easily big enough for two. On my visits, though, no one was sharing, and why would you?
The Crazy Mason
810 Bowl Market Common (1220 Moser Dr., Myrtle Beach)
810 Bowl in North Myrtle Beach (1105 Hwy 17 S. North Myrtle Beach)