From this neck of the woods

Olson’s Ice Cream: a sweet taste of summer

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McKenna Dirks

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September 18, 2019
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From this neck of the woods

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

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Ice cream is something not many people can turn down willingly, especially when enjoyed on a hot summer day in the middle of July. But what about those times in the dead of winter when the cravings of ice cream can’t be kicked and the quantity is scarce? Olson’s Ice Cream, located in Chippewa Falls, serves their ice cream year-round to satisfy those with such ice cream cravings.

Olson’s Ice Cream celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2018, and continues to make their “homaid” ice cream to share with the community. Their featured artisan ice cream flavors include Raspberry Cheesecake, Cotton Candy Confetti, Mint Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel, but more than 30 different flavors are served overall. According to their website, Olson’s Ice Cream mix has been the same recipe since 1944, with all ingredients provided locally.

Jeremy Hunt, co-owner and son of current owners Dan and Linda Hunt, said in 1923, Albert J. Olson and his partner started their business with dairy and ice cream at the Knapp Dairy in Knapp, Wisconsin. Olson then moved his family and business to Chippewa Falls in 1944 and continued his work at Olson’s Creamland Dairy. Olson later sold his business  to the Hunt family in 2007, which was later bought in by Hunt and other co-owner/manager, Ingrid Sievers in July, 2018.

Hunt said the business has always been big in dairy and using it to build relationships within the community. He also said the thing that sets their ice cream apart from other places is that it is contained in three small-batch machines that hold approximately 10 gallons each, as compared to some places that keep their ice cream in thousand-gallon machines.

The ice cream parlor has been through three generations of the Olson family: Albert Olson, Howard Olson and Dave Olson, Hunt said. He is the second generation in his family to manage the business.

“Hopefully we’ll get his nieces and nephews in there for generation three,” Sievers said.

Wanting to take their business to the next level, the Hunt family did a lot of searching and recently announced they will be expanding Olson’s Ice Cream into downtown Eau Claire in May 2019. Hunt said Olson had been wanting to expand since the 1980s but never got around to it.

“We hope to share our homemade ice cream with everybody else,” Hunt said, “and share the history and build relationships with customers, as well as venders and wholesalers — that’s what it’s really all about.”

Dirks can be reached at [email protected]

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