History Food+Drink sweets

CHEERS TO 80 YEARS: How Olson’s Ice Cream Is Celebrating Its Milestone Anniversary

locally-founded gem is hosting a variety of anniversary activities, July party

Cassandra Kyser, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

STEPPING BACK INTO HISTORY. The original Olson's location, 611 N. Bridge St., Chippewa Falls –
STEPPING BACK INTO HISTORY. The original Olson's location – 611 N. Bridge St., Chippewa Falls – has been serving up ice cream since 1944.

Eight decades is a long time for a family-owned business to be in operation. To put that in perspective, the first consumers of Olson’s Ice Cream were listening to reports of the D-Day invasion on the radio. “It’s been an honor to be a staple in the Chippewa Valley,” says Jeremy Hunt, who co-owns Olson’s with his parents, Dan and Linda Hunt.

The exact date in 1944 when founder Albert J. Olson began making and selling ice cream in downtown Chippewa Falls has been lost to time, but Olson’s is celebrating all summer long. Memorial Day Weekend kicked off an “80 Days of Summer” party at both their Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls locations. Stopping by Olson’s for a scoop is a core memory and common go-to for so many folks, and to that end, they are having a Memory Contest. Visit either location to fill out a form to share your favorite Olson’s Ice Cream memory. There are also coloring contests for the kids and drawings for gift cards. Also, keep your eyes peeled around town for “Ole,” a photo op character prop that is the Chippewa Valley’s version of “Where’s Waldo?”

Olson's Eau Claire location in Haymarket Plaza.
Olson's Eau Claire location at 80 S. Barstow St.

Olson’s has recipes for 200-plus ice cream flavors and typically has 100 in rotation. Some flavors, such as classic vanilla, are always available. Seasonal flavors get rotated in and out.

If you want to expand your horizons beyond chocolate and vanilla, Jeremy has a few suggestions. One of the top-selling flavors at their Eau Claire location will come as no surprise: Their signature Blugold Batter is a creamy cake batter ice cream mixed with blue sprinkles. Other favorites at both locations are raspberry cheesecake and cookies ’n’ cream. Kids tend to gravitate towards cotton candy.

If you’re in the mood for something vintage, the oldest ice cream recipe in their rotation is Cherry Garden. Flavor innovations are always in the works. One of the newer flavors in their coolers is YUM YUM Cinnabun.

As for what flavor Jeremy scoops for himself, he says it “always changes” as he “doesn’t like eating the same thing over and over.” Right now, he loves Mocha Mud Pie, which he describes as having a “mellow coffee flavor.”

Save the date for July 21, when Olson’s is hosting its 80th Anniversary Party at Riverfront Park in Chippewa Falls. Admission is free and includes a DJ spinning tunes, face painting, caricature drawings, bouncy houses, and a juggler. Pizza, and of course ice cream, will be for sale.

Chippewa Falls location.
David and Susan Olson in 1955. (Photo via Olson's website)

Keep up with Olson's Ice Cream on Facebook and Instagram • Find more information on the Olson's website • Visit the Chippewa Falls location at 611 N. Bridge St. • Visit the Eau Claire location at 80 S. Barstow St.