Aug 6, 11am to 7pm 10 Food Trucks @ Phoenix Park

Food+Drink

We Sent a Volume One Writer to Every Local Ice Cream Shop. Here's the Scoop.

searching for the finest flavors and sweetest scoops the Valley has to offer – in only one week

Kellie Williams |

CONNOISSEUR OF ICE CREAM. Longtime Volume One writer Kellie Williams went on a search for fantastic flavors and super scoops at every locally owned ice cream shop in the Chippewa Valley. (Photo by Kellie Williams)
CONNOISSEUR OF ICE CREAM. Longtime Volume One writer Kellie Williams went on a search for fantastic flavors and super scoops at every locally owned ice cream shop in the Chippewa Valley. (Photo by Kellie Williams)

Have you noticed the sweet ice cream shops popping up around the Chippewa Valley? While some may see it as a bit over the top (no pun intended), I see it as one more thing that makes our community “legendairy.” To get a sense of the ice cream scene – and truly find the finest flavors and sweetest scoops – Volume One asked me to find local ice cream shops that are truly the perfect place to melt for. Who would say no to an ice cream crawl?!


FIRST STOP: RAMONE'S ICE CREAM PARLOR. Ramone's Ice Cream Parlor has been a staple in the Eau Claire community since it first opened in
FIRST STOP: RAMONE'S ICE CREAM PARLOR. Ramone's Ice Cream Parlor has been a staple in the Eau Claire community since it first opened in 2017, serving up Wisconsin-based Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. (Photo by Kellie Williams)

RAMONE’S ICE CREAM PARLOR

503 Galloway St., Eau Claire
>> Check it out online here

On my list of favorite things in this world is the smell of waffle cones and sweet ice cream inside Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Eau Claire. At this quaint, homey shop, I got a homemade waffle cone filled one of Ramone’s bestsellers, This $&@! Just Got Serious. With salty and sweet caramel-y cashew goodness, this $&@! really did just get serious.


SERVICE WITH A SMILE. Olson's Olson’s founder Albert J. Olson began making “homaid” ice cream with a partner at Knapp Dairy in 1923. In 1944, he relocated to Chippewa Falls to open Olson’s Creamland Dairy, where he processed milk and made ice cream. Today, the business is still in the same building at 611 N. Bridge St. In 2007, the Olson family sold the business to the Hunt family, who continue to operate it. While Olson’s Ice Cream has been previously been served up at other locations – including numerous restaurants, Festival Foods, and the 9 Degrees ice cream cart – this will be the first time Olson’s itself has opened a new location since the Second World War.
SERVICE WITH A SMILE. Olson's Olson’s founder Albert J. Olson began making homemade ice cream with a partner at Knapp Dairy in 1923. In 1944, he relocated to Chippewa Falls to open Olson's Creamland Dairy. Today, the business still thrives in its original Chippewa Falls – and a new Eau Claire – location, though it was sold to the Hunt family, who continue to operate it. (Photo by Kellie Williams)

OLSON’S ICE CREAM

80 S Barstow St., Eau Claire
611 N. Bridge St., Chippewa Falls
>> Check it out online here

If you have a hard time making decisions, let me warn you that Olson’s has a formidable 36 flavors. I’ll be honest: I was that person who paced back and forth trying to decide. I was tempted by Lemon Summer Shandy – a collaboration with Leinenkugel’s brewery – but I ultimately decided on Chocolate Monster in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone. This was my third ice cream of the day, I hate to admit this, but I made a major party foul and couldn’t finish it. There may be such a thing as too much of a good thing.


MONSTROUS SCOOPS. Monster Scoop Ice Cream is a relatively new addition to the Chippewa Valley ice cream scene, as it opened in 2021 in both Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire. (Photo by Kellie Williams)
MONSTROUS SCOOPS. Monster Scoop Ice Cream is a relatively new addition to the Chippewa Valley ice cream scene, as it opened in 2021 in both Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire. (Photo by Kellie Williams)

MONSTER SCOOP 

424 N. Bridge St., Chippewa Falls
2610 Craig Road, Eau Claire
>> Check out more information here

This place lives up to its name: the scoops are monster sized! While they mostly serve Cedar Crest ice cream, they do have a few homemade options. When I was told they were out of their bestseller Monster Mix Oreo Cookie, I shamelessly asked if they would scrape the bottom of the tub so I could at least taste it. It was one of the best cookies-and-cream ice creams I’ve ever had. Nonetheless, I settled for the homemade Monster Mix Maple Nut, which was also delicious.


SERVING UP SWEET TREATS. C&J's Candy Store in Menomonie opened last year as a sweet shop. No, literally. A shop dedicated to candy! Now, it serves up Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream at its downtown location.
SERVING UP SWEET TREATS. C&J's Candy Store in Menomonie opened last year as a sweet shop. No, literally. A shop dedicated to candy! Now, it serves up Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream at its downtown location. (Photo by Andrea Paulseth)

C&J’s CANDY STORE AND SCOOP SHOPPE

342 Main St., Menomonie
>> Check it out online here

Ice cream? Candy? Together?! Say no more. I got all the warm, fuzzy feelings when I rolled up to this cute shop. It has a vintage-candy-shop vibe that I just adore. I went for a scoop of German Chocolate Cake this time, with crunchy salty pecans and caramel mixed into chocolate coconut ice cream. It was so yummy, I felt like a kid in a candy store, literally!


ANYTHING IS POPSICLE. At 44 Below, anything is possible. Like, for example, their new expanded menu to include snowcones!
ANYTHING IS POPSICLE. At 44 Below, anything is possible. Like, for example, their new expanded menu to include snowcones! (Photo by Andrea Paulseth)

44 BELOW

1488 Front Porch Place, Altoona
>> Check it out online here

Walking up to this ice cream window makes me nostalgic for my hometown root beer stand. 44 Below is in a prime location right across from the splash pad in River Prairie and a short walk from the new Veteran’s Memorial, where I sat on a bench and enjoyed my melting Wisconsin Campfire S’mores ice cream cone. It tasted just like summer nights by the campfire.


LIKE A KID IN A CANDY STORE. Or an ice cream shop for that matter. Williams' oldest daughter enjoyed some sweet treats with her mom during this weeklong ice cream adventure. (Photo by Kellie Williams)
LIKE A KID IN A CANDY STORE. Or an ice cream shop for that matter. Williams' oldest daughter enjoyed some sweet treats with her mom during this weeklong ice cream adventure. (Photo by Kellie Williams)

ROADSIDE ICE CREAM & DINER

1160 Menomonie St., Eau Claire
>> Check it out online here

On the last day of my weeklong ice cream journey through the Chippewa Valley, I was hoping for just a little bit of ice cream. Maybe just a small one-scoop dish, but that doesn’t exist at Roadside Diner. The portions are massive, and once you smell the food cooking, it has to come with a chili dog side dish. It’s impossible to resist. One of Eau Claire’s best-kept secrets are the homemade Novelty Bars from Roadside. Similar to – but much larger than – the bars from a chain ice cream place we won’t mention, these mix-in filled ice cream bars will most definitely make you feel gluttonous if you eat an entire bar in one sitting.


ICE CREAM THAT MAKES YOU WANNA DANCE. Danc'n Bean offers
ICE CREAM THAT MAKES YOU WANNA DANCE. Danc'n Bean has offered  Bridgeman's ice cream to the Eau Claire community since it opened in 2019. (Photo by Andrea Paulseth)

THE DANC’N BEAN

2803 E. Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire
>> Check it out online here

When I asked what made The Danc’n Bean different than other ice cream shops in town, the owner proudly declared that they offer 30 flavors of Bridgeman’s ice cream. That creates a nostalgic feel for many locals because there used to be a Bridgeman’s in the London Square Mall. Once my mint green Peppermint Bon Bon ice cream was beautifully scooped into a glass tulip-shaped sundae dish, I quickly forgot how much ice cream I consumed in the last few days. It was deliciously smooth and loaded with chocolate chips. It was a great end to this expedition.


SWEET CREAMS. That counter is where customers can buy ice cream made in-house – this is a creamery, remember – available in 18 frequently changing flavors, including Absastinkinglutely Nuts (five kinds of premium nuts with caramel and sea salt) and Triple Berry Cheesecake (with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries).
SWEET CREAMS. Casey's Creamery in Eau Claire offers unique pies and flavors of ice cream – including  Absastinkinglutely Nuts (five kinds of premium nuts with caramel and sea salt) and Triple Berry Cheesecake (with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries). (Photo by Andrea Paulseth)

CASEY’S CREAMERY 

4740 Keystone Crossing, Eau Claire
>> Check it out online here.

Casey’s Creamery isn’t afraid of experimenting with different flavors, and that’s evident in their vast selection of homemade ice cream, which is churned and served at their Keystone Crossing location. I tried Blue Bubblegum and Dark Chocolate Raspberry, and they had a great, intense flavor. With a continuous rotation of flavors, they find it hard to pinpoint a bestseller.


COLORFUL CONES. Though Kellie Williams didn't make it to Custer's Cones, that doesn't mean Custer's Cones is any less good of an ice cream shop! Hunter Custer (pictured above) opened up this sweet shop last year and is excited to serve more exciting treats this summer.
COLORFUL CONES. Though Kellie Williams didn't make it to Custer's Cones, that doesn't mean Custer's Cones is any less good of an ice cream shop! Hunter Custer (pictured above) opened up this sweet shop last year and is excited to serve more exciting treats this summer. (Photo by Andrea Paulseth)

CUSTER’S CONES

17183 50th Ave., Chippewa Falls
>> Check it out online here

I know, I’m a terrible ice cream connoisseur. I went everywhere except for Custer’s Cones in Chippewa Falls. After a week of eating almost nothing but ice cream – and having sick kiddos in the house – we just had to call it quits. But, like the other impressive ice cream shops, some top flavors at Custer’s include Birthday Cake, Superman, and Munchie Madness. They also serve dipped ice cream, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolatey cashews, yogurt-covered pretzels and peanuts, chocolate meltaways, and other treats.


OTHER NOTABLE MENTIONS

You could become 99% ice cream if you tried to eat ice cream from every place in the Chippewa Valley that scoops up sweet cones, so I limited myself to locally owned and operated shops. But, there’s also Coldstone Creamery (4613 Keystone Crossing) and Dairy Queen (six Chippewa Valley locations), Culver's (which serves frozen custard, not ice cream), as well as likely more in the works…


SO MANY FLAVORS, SO LITTLE TIME. Kellie Williams had a tough time picking a favorite shop, but she certainly found quite a few flavors she liked. What are some of your favorite flavors?
SO MANY FLAVORS, SO LITTLE TIME. Kellie Williams had a tough time picking a favorite shop, but she certainly found quite a few flavors she liked. What are some of your favorite flavors?

THE FINAL VERDICT?

Try them all out for yourself! 

Every shop I visited had wonderful, friendly people behind the counter ready to scoop my treat. When I started asking questions, they would light up and get excited to share their favorite flavors and what makes them proud of their establishments. I highly recommend trying all of these sweet ice cream shops and finding your own favorite. But seriously – please don’t try to do it all in three days! You’ve got a whole summer ahead of you – pace yourself.


KNOW ANY OTHER ICE CREAM SHOPS? 

If you know of any other ice cream shops not on this list, shoot us a message at editorial@volumeone.org. We don't want to miss any of the sweet scoops in the Chippewa Valley!