About the Spark Café
Sam Walton loved many things: his family, his country, his business, flying, and people. But right up there is also his love of ice cream. Butter pecan, to be exact. Alice Walton remembers many happy memories of often going for ice cream with her dad, something special the two of them shared.
Becky Elliott, Sam’s secretary in his later days, recalls Sam calling her up to ask if she’d bring him his beloved sweet-and-creamy butter pecan when he was not feeling his best. Helen, Sam’s wife, was not thrilled with the idea and would remind Sam that it wasn’t good for him. But it made him feel good and likely brought back many fond memories. Helen, of course, understood.
The Spark Café Soda Fountain is a tribute to Sam’s love of ice cream. The café proudly serves Yarnell’s, a family brand made in Searcy, Arkansas, not far from the Walmart Distribution Center. Albert Yarnell, founder Ray Yarnell’s son, remembers the days of delivering ice cream with his dad to Sam Walton’s Ben Franklin store in Newport, Arkansas. Yarnell’s was the very first ice cream Sam ever sold, so the tradition has been kept alive at The Spark Café.
When you visit, you’ll notice a flavor in the scooping bin that looks VERY Walmart: Spark Cream. Custom-made for customers of the Spark Café, it’s a rich, flavorful ice cream in Walmart colors of blue and yellow. Ask for a taste of Spark Cream or any of the nine other flavors! The friendly staff will be glad to serve you as they do every day – with a smile.