Tasty Tuesday: Pufferbelly's Ice Cream Station

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WDTV) - Pufferbelly's Ice Cream station serves up almost 30 flavors of premium ice cream. Joe Staud, the owner, said that working in the restaurant business runs in the family.

Reporter Alison Kaiser holds up a banana split she helped make at Pufferbelly's Ice Cream Station.

"It all goes back to my mother and father, who were in the restaurant business in this area for five decades," Joe explained.

Joe worked in the coal business and his wife, Jennifer, was a teacher before they decided to make a career shift.

"She loves ice cream so we decided to get into the business," said Joe.

They combined their love of ice cream and trains to create Pufferbelly's in 2011.

"It's like in the nursery rhyme: 'down by the station early in the morning, see the little pufferbellies lined up in a row'," said Joe, quoting an old children's song.

"Pufferbelly is what they called old steam engines; that's how I shipped coal, was by rail," Joe said.

The building was originally built by Joe's grandfather in the early 1900s. Joe bought it to become the restaurant and renovated it to look like a train station. Inside, hang old photographs showing what Fairmont looked like many years ago.

"John F. Kennedy is in this picture over here," Joe said, pointing to a picture of the former president visiting Fairmont decades ago.

Pufferbelly's serves more than just ice cream; it has an expansive menu that includes salads and wraps, and burgers and hot dogs. They also serve Jersey fries, something unique to the area.

Customers say they keep coming to Pufferbelly's for the fresh, homemade food and the impeccable service.

"They absolutely care, which is something that I think continues to draw customers back," said Alicia Kalka, a regular customer who says her favorite meal is the Depot Salad.

"All of their soups, salads and sandwiches are fantastic," said Tim Rice, another customer.

Rice continued, "Oh, and the ice cream is great, too."

Pufferbelly's runs weekly specials and delivers to local businesses. To learn about their catering options or ice cream socials, you can visit Pufferbelly's Facebook page for contact information.