MANITOWOC – July 16, at the height of summer fun and heat, perhaps we can all “scream for ice cream” in honor of National Ice Cream Day.
Ice cream is a large part of the Dairy State's culture, especially in Manitowoc County.
In honor of the creamy dessert that makes just about everyone happy, here are five "scoops" about the local ice cream scene.
1. Two Rivers is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae.
The ice cream sundae was born in Two Rivers.
As the story goes, a man named George Hallauer walked into a Two Rivers pharmacy owned by Edward Berner one Sunday afternoon in 1881.
Many pharmacies in those days also had soda fountains, and Berner’s shop offered ice cream to its customers.
Hallauer asked if he could have his ice cream topped with some chocolate sauce used to make soda fountain concoctions.
News of the tasty treat quickly spread throughout the small town, and Berner was soon selling sundaes for a nickel on Sundays.
Today, anyone can order an ice cream sundae at the Washington House Museum, 1622 Jefferson St., Two Rivers, which is home to a replica of Berner’s shop, any day of the week. The historical museum serves 16 different sundae flavors, including one made with a special homemade rhubarb sauce cooked up in small batches by volunteers.
2. A popular brand is produced right here in Manitowoc and has its own parlor.
The popular Cedar Crest Ice Cream brand is produced in Manitowoc.
The company serves up more than 100 flavors of the creamy treat, along with frozen yogurt, sherbet and even gelato, and holds annual contests to allow fans to choose and name new flavors.
The company’s headquarters is in Cedarburg, but the Manitowoc ice cream parlor, 2000 S. 10th St., Manitowoc, with the large statue of Bernice the cow out front, is a local landmark.
The smiles of kids bring a smile to Ken Kohlwey, president of Cedar Crest Specialties. He started the business decades ago with his brothers Bill, Robert and Tim.
“You never get sick of seeing how happy the customers are,” he told Streetwise. “And I’ve never gotten sick of ice cream. Every time I think I have found my all-time favorite flavor, we come out with a new one that knocks the old one out of its place.”
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Cedar Crest produces about 15,000 to 16,000 gallons of ice cream each day. It’s considered a regional business, meaning it distributes mostly to stores and ice cream shops in Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and about 40 miles into Illinois.
The company also has a distributor in St. Louis and will ship ice cream throughout the country for people looking for a taste of Wisconsin elsewhere.
And while seasonal flavors may come and go, staples such as vanilla, chocolate, cookies n’ cream and butter pecan will always be on the menu.
3. You can get ice cream on a 'conut' (or a doughnut cone) in Two Rivers.
Scream N’ Conuts, 1200 Washington St. in Two Rivers, combines two favorite sweets.
As you drive down Washington Street in Two Rivers, Emilee Rysticken’s ice cream shop, Scream ‘N Conuts is hard to miss.
Painted bright pink and usually busy, the shop features homemade doughnut cones, or "conuts," rolled in cinnamon and sugar and topped with Cedar Crest ice cream.
“They taste like a county fair,” Rysticken told the Herald Times Reporter.
She said she got the idea for the business while on a school trip to Prague, where she tried the European dessert for the first time.
After talking it over with her parents, she knew is was something she wanted to pursue as a business idea.
In 2018, Rysticken graduated from high school early and, with the help of her family, began renovating the previously empty building that now houses Scream ‘N Conuts.
The shop offers roughly 16 flavors of ice cream and five types of conuts, in addition to more traditional cone choices.
As far as Rysticken knows, hers is the only ice cream shop that offers doughnut cones with hard-packed ice cream (they’re typically served with vanilla soft serve).
4. This downtown Manitowoc candy shop serves ice cream.
Step back in time at Beernsten’s Confectionary, 108 N. Eighth St., in downtown Manitowoc.
When you walk into Beernsten’s on Eighth Street, you're greeted by the comforting view of black walnut booths, candy cases and arches of the original 1932 candy shop.
Beernsten’s is best known for making candies the traditional way — copper kettles and wooden paddles are used to make hard candies, and chocolates are still dipped by hand.
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And while the store sells more than 125 different candies and chocolates throughout the year, it also offers a full food menu, including sandwiches and old-fashioned ice cream.
So, have your meal, get some ice cream and grab some chocolates to take with you on the way out.
5. This popular local bakery has an ice cream shop in Plymouth.
A combination of baked goods and ice cream sounds pretty good to us, and that’s what you’ll get at Hartman’s Bakery of Plymouth and G Scoops, 117 Division St., owned by Neal and Kristen Moenburg.
The couple moved the bakery from Mill Street in late fall 2022 and expanded to open the ice cream shop, which serves tasty premium hard ice cream made by Scoops of Chilton, soft serve dishes, as well as sundaes, mixers, banana splits and shakes.
“We had the room to open the ice cream shop my husband dreamed of that I had said ‘no’ to,” Kristen said with a laugh. “Now, we have a dessert idea where people can choose their own donut flavor and we will serve it with ice cream on top.”
Did we miss your favorite ice cream location or story in the Manitowoc area? Contact reporter Patti Zarling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-606-2586. Follow her on Twitter @PGPattiZarling.
This article originally appeared on Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter: Two Rivers birthplace of ice cream sundae, Manitowoc has Cedar Crest