‘Tis the season! Summer is for sunny days, warm breezes and road trips, and more often than not, that means ice cream. Strolling through a park or parked at a picnic table or bench, the cool treat is synonymous with being young and young at heart. And that’s just the cherry on top of what’s already a likely sweet and sticky day.
Worth-the-drive ice cream parlors are in every direction of the Fox Cities, so whether in a dish or a cone, find your favorite flavors at these stops that range from modern to old-fashioned nostalgic.
Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory & Parlor
2000 S 10th St, Manitowoc
What’s more appropriate for the dairy state than a giant cow named Bernice beckoning ice cream lovers for miles? Not much! “Wisconsin Made, Family Owned” Cedar Crest can be found at several parlors and retailers in the area, but its own headquarters and parlor in Manitowoc are something to see.
“While all-time classics Vanilla and Chocolate are on Cedar Crest Ice Cream’s top ten list, it’s our wide variety of flavors that make Cedar Crest Ice Cream legendary. There truly is a flavor to suit everyone,” Ken Kohlwey, president of Cedar Crest Ice Cream, says.
“Pirate’s Bounty™ is one of our fan favorites. It features M&M chocolate candies and chocolate sandwich cookies in caramel flavored ice cream. Caramel Collision® features caramel ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate coated caramel mini caramel cups. Superman is a great flavor to have on hand for Independence Day celebrations. It features a patriotic blend of blue raspberry, cherry, and vanilla flavored ice cream. Always innovating, Cedar Crest Ice Cream was the first ice cream maker to introduce “tracks”—as in our Elephant Tracks. In this classic flavor, tracks of peanut butter cups and chocolate fudge are swirled in Chocolate ice cream. Cedar Crest Ice Cream also makes varieties of Custard, Dairy-Free Sorbet, Frozen Yogurt, and Sherbet.”
Cedar Crest prides itself on its “craft ice cream philosophy,” their process centered on making small batches that give their ice cream the flavor and creaminess for which it’s known. The Manitowoc parlor serves ice cream—along with sundaes, shakes and malts—from March to October.
Kelley Country Creamery
W5215 Co Rd B, Fond du Lac
A 200-acre farmstead dairy is the perfect setting for a creamery, and Kelley Country Creamery takes full advantage of the landscape.
“Our ice cream is unique in that it is made from the milk on our 161-year-old Kelley Family Dairy Farm, 6 generations,” Karen Kelley says. “The Creamery sits in a hay field with a view of the working farm and the bonus of the cows in one of the pastures that produced the milk for the ice cream. It is a true rural Wisconsin experience and destination.”
The family-run business opened its doors on May 13, 2010. They offer over 15 cheesecake flavors and “regulars” like Whitewash Vanilla, Udderly Comforting Chocolate, Strawberry Fields, Kelley’s Irish Cream and Leo’s Butter Pecan.
Summer seasonal fruit flavors include Grapefruit, Mango, Pineapple Orange, Key Lime Pie, Wild Berry and Boysenberry, while fun kids’ flavors consist of Millie’s Magical Unicorn, Chew Your Cud, In a Cloud, Cow Jumped Over the Moon, Pucker Up, etc.
“Dairy farming is unique as less than one percent of the population are involved in this occupation… then to put the ice cream industry along with it just makes it even more rewarding,” Kelley says. “From watching the corn growing up in rows out my window to the sweet smell of fresh cut hay and then topping it off with smiling faces licking their favorite ice cream flavor while sitting in a rocking chair watching the cows graze in the pasture. A big plus is that most people enjoy ice cream and it’s a happy food. Nothing is better than this than God and my family.”
LaClare Creamery Shoppe & Cafe
W2994 County HH, Malone
Open since 2012, LaClare Creamery Shoppe & Cafe offers a unique twist on summer’s favorite treat.
“We offer goat’s milk ice cream, which is not the standard when you walk into an ice cream shoppe—although it should! Customers are always so surprised at how good (it) is,” Jessi Schoofs, Retail Manager, says. “Usually when you tell people it’s 30% less fat than cow’s milk they expect it to be not as good but quite the opposite is true… goat’s milk ice cream tends to be creamier than cow’s milk.”
Fan favorites for kids’ and adult palettes, includes her favorite Deep Chocolate, describing it as if “dark chocolate and a piece of fudge got married.”
“The ability to cater to groups of people who have allergies to cow’s milk is such a gift to offer different options and our customers are so happy,” Schoofs says.
“We do also offer cow’s milk ice cream and we go through Scoops from Chilton. It’s been a great partnership with Scoops and we are proud to promote small businesses around our community. The most popular cow milk ice cream would have to be the Turtle Cheesecake… we sold out in one day!”
Other fan favorites include Raspberry Chocolate Torte, Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake, Bear Bait, Blue Moon, Birthday Cake, and Chocolate Chip Mint.
“The great thing about LaClare Creamery is that we are firm believers in ‘try before you buy’ whether it be cheese or ice cream.”
Frogg’s Ice Cream
N370 Military Rd, Sherwood
According to Bill Flynn and Karla Miller-Flynn, Frogg’s has been serving “Unfroggetable” ice cream for 21 years, the last 18 of which they have been the owners.
“The fun is all about the customers we see back time and time again to the newbies trying our treats for the first time,” they say. “Providing reasonably priced ice cream treats for families whose kids can eat their treats while playing in the backyard is also great to see. The young people we have the pleasure to work with are second to none as is doing business in the Village of Sherwood! It is an inviting place to grow a business.
“Developing innovative ice cream treats with creative fun names is also something we all look forward to doing each season.”
Frogg’s Ice Cream serves vanilla, chocolate and twist soft serve from Lamer’s Dairy, the perfect foundation for creative concoctions like the Frogg-On-A Log sundae, Bullfrog Banana Split, Lilly Pad ice cream sandwiches and Frogg-In-A-Blender.
Going “green” doesn’t stop at the cute cartoon mascot. Frogg’s uses biodegradable cups, straws and sundae dishes and utilizes 19 solar panels to lower Frogg’s carbon footprint as a conscious effort to be good stewards of the earth.
“Everything is unique about our ice cream store, starting with the fun name of the store, the creative names of the ice cream treats we make to the parklike setting where patrons can relax and eat their ice cream in the company of beautiful flower beds and cows in the adjacent pasture.”
Sweet N Saulty Ice Cream Parlor
227 Watson St, Ripon
Celebrating their third anniversary this month, Sweet N Saulty Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Ripon gets by with a little help from their “ice cream family.”
The shop serves 34 flavors of Wisconsin-made Cedar Crest ice cream, and also always carries two sherbets, two dairy-free sorbets, two no-fat, no-sugar options and much more.
“We have shakes and old-fashioned malts that are amazing!” owner Renee Saul says. “Our store plays 1950s music and we have some pretty cool games to play on the tables while you enjoy your ice cream or something from our candy wall… we have an old fashioned ice cream truck too! ”
Their most popular flavors include Blue Moon, Superman, Black Cherry and Butter Pecan.
Keep your eyes peeled for more ice cream!
“We are so supported by our community that next month we will be opening another ice cream parlor and car hop on the west side of Ripon. We appreciate our community support! We know that ice cream makes everyone happy so we get to see a lot of smiles daily! Even from our four-legged friends—they love to get an ice cream treat.
“We have the best staff, they are so helpful and very outgoing with everyone,” Renee Saul, owner, says. “We cannot thank everyone enough for the help they’ve provided for us to start this amazing business!”