Student proposes Buck's Ice Cream renovation

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COLUMBIA - The home of the University of Missouri's official ice cream might be getting renovations to its facility. 

Abigail McNeil is a senior in MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) program and proposed an idea to renovate and redesign the shop, as a part of some business school students' idea to help Buck's as a smaller company. 

McNeil said she wants Buck's to have the traditional 1950's style ice cream parlor feel. The potential re-design plans include changing the plain tile floor to black and gold checkers, counter tops, bar stools replacing the existing chairs, a new coat of paint on the walls and possibly a jukebox.

Professor Ingolf Gruen said he loved the idea when he initially heard of McNeil's plan.

"The whole image and where we are located is something we have been thinking for a while now," Gruen said. "Certainly if we have an event like a grand opening of a face lifted facility, it will spread the word of where Buck's is located."

Gruen said for now they must think about where the plan will go from here and where they will get the funding to make McNeil's plan into a reality.

"We are in the process of deciding where we want to go in the future and I am sure that Buck's will play in a large role so considering giving Buck's a face lift is a good idea," Gruen said. 

McNeil said the idea to give Buck's Ice Cream a "face-lift" came to her because she said she thinks it will be a good way to freshen the look of the store.

"So far, the idea is in its infancy," McNeil said. "Since I'm graduating in December, I got sentimental and really wanted to come up with a way to help what has shaped my education so much."

The plans are at the proposal stage in consideration for it to be included in the CAFNR school's 50th anniversary plans which is two years away.

There was a temporary stop to ice cream research after the dairy plant closed due to money issues. Professor Wendell Sherwood Arbuckle and his wife started an endowment to start up ice cream research once again in 1989. 

Buck's opened its doors to the public at its current location by Eckles Hall in 1989. The famous Tiger Stripe ice cream flavor was invented in 1991 by Dr. Robert Marshall.