31 Days of Frozen Dessert

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Each day of July we will be featuring a new place people can get a frozen dessert to cool off this summer. 

July 1: Parlor City Ice Cream, Marion

Parlor City Ice Cream has been catering its menu to their neighborhoods since 1962. While they were originally a Tastee Freeze, they still use a lot of the same recipes that locals enjoy. Also, their stores are a blast from the past with 1960s decor. Parlor City Ice Cream has more than 50 malt and shake flavors. A new addition to the menu is a Fruity Pebble Shake. “It’s kind of pretty and colorful,” said Angela Hoyt, owner of Parlor City Ice Cream. “The kids just love it.” 

July 2: Fruitzen, Cedar Rapids

Jason Spangler found a seasonal job in 2002 as the owner of Fruitzen when he wanted to write during the off season. However, over the years it has grown. He now owns the whole brands and will be selling packages so other people across the world can operate their own Fruitzen stand. The shaved ice for the stand does not come from cubes of ice but from an entire block which allows them to shave it thinner. The stand has 30 core flavors, 99 popular combinations and allows for people to create their own. 

July 3: Nelson's Ice Cream, Cedar Rapids

Nuzzled in the crooks of Newbo Market is Nelson’s Ice Cream, bringing back the tradition of craftsmanship. Their menu includes Unicorn Poop which has black raspberry, blood orange and lemon custard hand swirled. Mt. Trashmore is a French vanilla “littered” with M&Ms, cookie dough, Snickers and Butterfinger. “We are bringing back something that got lost a little bit,” said Adrienne Mills, manager and producer of ice cream. She and the owners desire to bring back the quality of ice cream. 

July 4: Hamburg Inn No. 2, Iowa City

Pies and politics come together for the diner on Linn Street in Iowa City. When Ronald Reagan was visiting West Branch, he asked one of his secret service personnel, who was a local, where they should grab a bite to eat. The agent suggested Hamburg Inn and since, dozens of politicians have stopped in the restaurant. The walls hold pictures of President Barack Obama, Governor Terry Branstad, the Clintons and many more. In 2004, they started the Coffee Bean Caucus. During any election, local or national, people can come participate in a strawpoll with coffee beans. Even politicians stop by to cast their bean. Since, the restaurant has been featured in television show West Wing and an episode of the Daily Show. However, their iconic frozen desserts includes a 22 ounce shake based on pie. “We take a whole piece of pie and put it in a shake,” said Seth Dudley, general manager. They blend it so customers still have the sensation of a shake with a few pieces of pie intertwined. Hamburg Inn will be introducing a new location soon at 2221 Rochester Ave. E. Enjoy one of their 22 ounce pie shakes for $7.99.

July 5: La Cantina, Cedar Rapids

“One scoop of vanilla ice cream deep fried and placed in an edible sugar and cinnamon-covered shell. Topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.” This describes the La Cantina fried ice cream that only costs $2.99. La Cantina has three locations including 102 2nd St. SE in Cedar Rapids, 5400 Edgewood Rd. NE in Cedar Rapids and 3217 7th Ave. in Marion. 

July 6: Dane's Dairy, Iowa City

On a street off of Highway One, behind a Casey’s General Store in Iowa City is Dane’s Dairy that holds “America’s healthiest frozen yogurt.” Only 8 frozen yogurt has eight health rewards including: no fat, no cholesterol, calcium fortified, low calories, low carbs, all natural, sweetened with fructose, safe for most diabetics and lactose intolerants. “It’s Iowa City’s secret and it’s good for people on diets,” said Mariah Ritter, manager.

July 7: Greyhound Cafe, Cedar Rapids

While ice cream may not be the main focus of Greyhound Cafe, they pride themselves in carrying local goods including local ice cream from Hansen’s Dairy in Cedar Falls. They have recently added the frozen desert to their shakes. Enjoy half pints or shakes at Greyhound Cafe which is in the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

July 8: Deb's Ice Cream and Deli, Cedar Rapids

Forget Happy Hours, Deb’s Ice Cream is home to Naughty Hour where customers can have two dips of ice cream for $2.99 between 2 and 3 p.m. Owner Deb Allick wants people to know that ice cream is not their only specialty. Deb’s has a fully lunch menu and salad bar during their hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

July 9: Great American Popcorn Company, Cedar Rapids

When people step into the Great American Popcorn Company, Bill Rieckhoff believes people are “stepping back in time.”  The building Great American Popcorn Company is in, off of Newbo, is more than 103 years old. Rieckhoff is proud of their old fashion product, building and service. All of their product is super premium with 14 percent butter fat content. The higher the butterfat content, the creamier the ice cream. 

July 10: Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Iowa City

When Saf Ibrik opened Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, he wanted a place for families to get together. The bright colored lounge area invites people to come in and relax. “I get up in the morning and I’m excited to come into work,” Ibrik said. “When you hand a kid a spoon of froyo they look like they have a Christmas gift.” However, frozen yogurt is not the only sweet treat they have to enjoy. Caramel apples, fudge and truffles also have a place on their menu. Products are made in house and Ibrik describes it as “the most beautiful taste.” 

July 11: Jon's Ice Cream Store and Restaurant, Tiffin

Jon’s Ice Cream Store and Restaurant is a location of options. They maximize their space so they can be accessible to all types of customers. Victoria Mufson, manager, explains that they have a small facility in Tiffin. Their building caters to a drive-through, walk-up and dining room. Customers also have the choice of hand dipped and soft serve ice cream. Mufson explains that they are unique for their choices they give customers and the “personal care and touch” they have in their service.

July 12: Dan & Debbie's Creamery, Ely

An old lumber yard in Ely was renovated for three years to become the family owned, Dan and Debbie’s Creamery. The family owners have been dairy farming for 20 years. Four out of the six children of Dan and Debbie help work at the creamery with the help of close friends. The store creates everything start to finish and even has a viewing room where customers can watch products being made such as ice cream or cheese curds. Speaking of ice cream, they have 12 signature flavors with rich, wholesome ingredients as described by Josie Rozum, one of the children who help run the creamery. In the front of the store, visitors can purchase other local products from food to crafts. “We wanted to highlight other Iowa made producers,” said Rozum. While they have been open for a year, they are still renovating a backroom into a party room that can be rented out, starting in August, for up to 40 people. “It’s been a year of a lot of learning,”  Rozum said.

July 13: Amana Colonies Popcorn & Ice Cream Company, Amana 

Wedged between the stores of the Amana Colonies is the Popcorn and Ice Cream Company. It’s the only place in the town of Amana to order ice cream. “If you don’t like one [flavor] we have others you’re bound to like,” said Skylar Ossian, manager. Next to the 10 flavors of ice cream brought in from Wisconsin are 57 flavors of popcorn made in house. Visitors can taste test almost anything they want in the store. “We want to make [customers] feel comfortable to make them have the best experience they can with us,” Ossian said.

July 14: Ghurties Gourmet Frozon Yoghurt, Coralville 

David Munson and his family opened Ghurties six years ago in Coralville. They partnered with a company that has been making yogurt for 30 years. As a “Ma and Pop” store, as described by Munson, they built a lot of the store with family and friends’ help. “The biggest thing we wanted to do is create a community gathering place,” Munson said. They have grounded roots in the community by being a place for fundraisers to take place and events such a birthday parties.

July 15: Whitey's Ice Cream, Coralville 

If you order a malt or shake from Whitey’s Ice Cream in Coral Ridge Mall, it will be so thick, it won’t fall out if you tip it over. The 1950’s styled ice cream shop is wedged in the food court. Mallory Petersen, manager, who has worked at Whitey’s for four and a half years and she loves the community aspects. “I love the people. The employees are like family here,” Petersen said. 

July 16: Burger Fiend, Cedar Rapids

Burger Fiend is a company that has gone through a few name changes. First, they went by BurgerFry, in 2014 when they opened their doors. However, the name was too close to another companies name so they changed it to BurgerFeen, a few months after they opened. However, because that name was created in haste, they finally settled on BurgerFiend. According to their website, fiend means “fanatic.” They combined their original two names to produce one unified brand. However, burgers are not the only thing they sell. They have a variety of shakes to choose from. 

July 17: Yotopia, Iowa City

“You’ll be the master of your own creation,” at Iowa City’s Yotopia according to their website. Their frozen yogurt options are gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and Kosher certified. None of their flavors contain high fructose corn syrup. 

July 18: Zoey's Pizza, Marion

On the corner of 10th Street in downtown Marion, a small pizzeria is home to a unique frozen dessert. Zoey’s Pizzeria is home to the New Zago, which is a crust that combines New York and Chicago styles. However, after you’ve completed their pizza, there is still the Zookie, a pizza pan sized cookie with scoops of ice cream on top, while the cookie is still warm. 

July 19: Zombie Burger, Coralville and Iowa City

Zombie Burger has served people all over Iowa with their unique menu and post apocalyptic atmosphere. Iowa City and Coralville have Zombie Burger + Shake Lab which are “quick service dining experiences” according to their website. While some of the titles of shakes remain normal, such as Peanut Butter Banana and Chocolate Nutella Marshmallow, some like Zombie Joe, Zombie Unicorn and Zombie Bride Wedding Cake have customers wondering what is going into making them.

July 20: Ghurtie's, Coralville

Local to Coralville and family operated, Ghurties allows customers to choose from a selection of frozen yoghurt machine. To add to the frozen yoghurt there are more than 30 topping options.  

July 21: Capanna Coffee, North Liberty

For those looking for an Italian twist on their frozen dessert, Capanna Coffee in North Liberty has gelato. For those who want to be more cultured in their frozen desserts, gelato has less air and more flavor than other ice cream and frozen yogurt. 

July 22: Molly's Cupcakes, Iowa City and North Liberty

Amongst all the sweet treats Molly’s Cupcakes has to offer. One seasonal option is homemade ice cream with flavors including: vanilla, chocolate, cookies-n-cream, cookie dough and cake batter. With a location in Iowa City and North Liberty, Molly is able to take a part of their profits to donate to local schools, education programs and student fundraisers. 

July 23: Leaf Kitchen, Iowa City

At the Leaf Kitchen, you can finish your meal with homemade ice cream. They have multiple awards to back up their menu including the “Best Chef/Restaurant by the readers of Edible Iowa River Valley magazine” and winner of the James Beard Foundation award, according to their website. 

July 24: Dairy Queen on First Ave, Cedar Rapids

While Dairy Queen is a national franchise, the store located on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids has just celebrated 70 years of business. Read more about their celebration here. 

July 25: Mangos Ice Cream, Cedar Rapids

In Southern Cedar Rapids, Mangos Ice Cream is focused on bringing sweet fruits to decadent ice cream. They are open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

July 26: Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburger, Cedar Rapids

The Freddy’s franchise made its way to Cedar Rapids after originally starting in Wichita, Kansas in 2002. However, their inspiration comes from the 1950s “classic red-and-white color scheme,” according to their website. “It’s all about optimism, patriotism and the upbeat values of our great country and its greatest generation,” the website reads. The menu includes a variety of sundaes, malts, shakes, frozen custard sandwiches, custard cakes and more. 

July 27: Kool Moo, Cedar Rapids

Kool Moo was built in 1973 with a walk-up window. Their Facebook page claims, “we still offer the best ice cream and yogurt in town!” They are open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 10 p.m. 

July 28: Happy Joe's, Cedar Rapids

"JoeGurt" has made it's way to Happy Joes in East Cedar Rapids. This is the soft-serve option of frozen yogurt that customers can enjoy after one of the many pizza options. They have 10 flavors of frozen yogurt and about 20 options of toppings to add to it. 

July 29: Cold Stone Creamery, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City

There are two Cold Stone Creamery locations to choose from in Cedar Rapids and two in Iowa City. As a part of their entertainment, if you tip the workers at Cold Stone while they serve your ice cream, they will sing a short tune as a thank you. Employees even have to "audition" during their interview. 

July 30: Culver's, Cedar Rapids, North Liberty & Iowa City

Culver's Frozen Custard is "made throughout the day so it's always rich and creamy," according to their website. From various flavors of the day to surprise customers that are feeling adventurous to build-your-own Concrete Mixers, customers can get what fits them best. 

July 31: Maid-Rite, Cedar Rapids

To accompany burgers and french fries, Maid-Rites shakes and malts are hopefully,  "made right." They can be created in the signature vanilla blend or chocolate or strawberry. Ice cream floats come with the option of classic root beer or Pepsi. Customers can add chocolate or  strawberries to their cones  as they enjoy the classic atmosphere.