Over the past few years, Abilene has been expanding with new businesses and infrastructure, several of which are owned and operated by members of the ACU community. In 2022, three of Abilene’s newest businesses run by ACU staff and students have opened – or are in the process of opening – and take ACU’s mission of service into the local community.
Dodd Roberts serves students as director of ACU’s Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service, and although his ACU job centers around service throughout the world, he’s also serving the local Abilene community via snowcones, smoothies and acai bowls as the owner of Bahama Bucks in Allen Ridge.
The shop just opened in February after a two year delay thanks to COVID. Now that the store has been up and running for a few months, Roberts said the response from both the community and university students has been “fantastic”…
“We get so many ACU students over here, and faculty and staff, and we are blessed to have that and are excited about it.”
In addition to giving the community a place to cool down with cold treats in Abilene’s hot summer temperatures, Roberts also uses his store to carry ACU’s mission into the community by investing in the lives of his employees and facilitating a variety of fundraising events.
“We view this shop as an opportunity to glorify God’s name in the community and with our crew and with our guests,” Roberts said.
The snowcone shop couldn’t have opened at a better time, as its first summer in operation came in a season of record-breaking high temperatures for the Abilene area. Even as the weather starts to cool down, the community will be able to enjoy the franchise’s treats all year long.
Another business new to Allen Ridge is Summer Moon. ACU head men’s tennis coach and alumni Juan Nuñez (‘10, ‘13) and his wife and alumnae Shelby Nuñez (‘13) opened the doors of Abilene’s newest coffee shop on August 13.
Shelby said the couple has loved Summer Moon’s coffee since 2011 when they first started going to an Austin branch. In 2020, she and Juan emailed the CEO of the franchise and their journey to becoming coffee shop owners began.
“It’s been a labor of love,” Shelby said. “It’s been a long time coming. We’ve had, probably just like any business owner, hurdles to jump through.”
Shelby said she and Juan have been praying over the shop for months, even before the groundbreaking, as they hope to create a place the community can enjoy.
“We want it to be a place where people can gather and fellowship together over a good cup of coffee,” Shelby said.
And in their two weeks of being open, Shelby and Juan seem to have created just that. On opening day, Shelby said the door barely closed as the line stretched out of the building, and the shop has stayed bustling ever since.
Seven and One
Within the next few weeks, an independent-style book shop will be joining Abilene’s downtown scene as the Kasselmans work towards opening their book sanctuary.
The whole Kasselman family has a role in the Seven and One book shop, and Spencer Kasselman, a senior Bible major from Abilene, is the general manager. He said the vision behind the bookstore is to give Abilene a place for collective learning.
“We want it to be a place when you open the door, through the products that we sell, through our team behind the counter and walking the floor, that you have been properly seen and understood and actively being welcomed in that space, no matter who you are,” Kasselman said.
He said the family is looking forward to opening the shop and giving the Abilene community a unique place to slow down, learn and grow.
“It’s one of the few businesses in modern times that you just simply go just to browse and just to exist within the space,” he said. “You can take away something without even buying anything.”
Although there is no set opening date due to the possibility of construction delays, Kasselman said the family hopes to open the shop in September.