LIMA — Through the scorching heat, rain, and cool weather, regional ice cream shops for decades have offered community members of all ages cool treats and great memories.
Married couple Derald and Pam Walker acquired Max’s Dairy at 901 Bellefontaine St., Wapakoneta, back in 2015, after deciding to retire from their engineering and nursing careers.
They decided on the location in Wapakoneta because they were familiar with the area and to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
From March 1 to Oct. 15, customers can enjoy 16 hard-dip ice creams, six Dole non-dairy ice cream flavors, several soft-serve flavors, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, banana splits, frozen bananas, brownie and strawberry shortcake sundaes and more.
Max’s Dairy also offers Cyclones, which the couple said are similar to Dairy Queen’s blizzards, a soft-serve ice cream treat mixed with various toppings. Customers can order from a variety of Cyclones, such as the Golden Bear, Potion #9, the Cookie Monster or the Peanut Butter and Jelly.
The business uses use local meat for its specialty barbecue meals, local dairy for ice cream and purchases its hard dip ice cream from Sandusky.
“Max’s has been here since 1950, and that’s a long time, and I doubt that very little has changed,” Pam Walker said. “Someone told me that they were glad that we bought it and kept it going, and I think the community has kind of paid us back by their support.”
Pete’s Ice Cream
Dave Peters, owner of of Pete’s Ice Cream at 3270 S. Dixie Highway, Lima, opened shop in 2009, quickly becoming an ice cream standard in Allen County.
He was inspired by the former Eldora Dairy on Cable Road, an ice cream shop that would milk cows in front of its customers and use the extracted milk to create their ice cream.
“Growing up, I always thought that that would be something to get into,” Peters said. “My family has always been in business, so it was one of those natural things that I decided to do.”
Pete’s Ice Cream offers four soft-serve flavors, 40 flavors of hand-dip flavors, including chocolate extreme, cappuccino and green mint chip, yogurt, smoothies, slushies, floats, milkshakes, chocolate-dipped Belgian waffles and avalanches, a treat similar to a Dairy Queen blizzard.
“What sets us apart is our portion sizes, good service and fresh products because we do not skip out on quality,” Peters said. “God has blessed me with a lot of great customers, and it’s been a really fun experience.”
Doug and Edna’s
Kim Bradshaw was inspired to open Doug and Edna’s at 417 W Washington St., Pandora, by his grandparents, who he said were business professionals.
Since 2005 Bradshaw has served the Pandora community with his specialty homemade ice cream, a variety of soft-serve ice cream with a rotation of lactose-free options, and Rockets, a Dairy Queen-inspired blizzard with toppings such as Oreo, banana split, cookie dough and more. He also offers a variety of shakes, malts and sundaes.
Paul and Valerie Nusbaum have been ordering their favorite, chocolate hot fudge sundaes, from Doug and Edna’s since the day it opened. They made it a tradition with their grandchildren.
“We love the quality of the ice cream and the service,” Nusbaum said. “The first thing that our three grandchildren from North Carolina mention when they arrive in Ohio is going to Doug and Edna’s.”
The $25,000 soft-serve machines are what set Doug and Edna’s apart from the other soft-serve ice cream shops, Bradshaw said, because it prevents air from inflating the ice cream.
“There are places that give you a huge amount of ice cream but it melts quickly,” Bradshaw said. “It may be cold, but it won’t be flavorful.”
Sharon Dairy King
Tim Swick, the second-generation owner of Sharon Dairy King at 2825 W. Elm St., Lima, became a part of his family-owned business following a rewarding and exciting career in the corporate world.
For 42 years, the ice cream shop has offered the community with tornadoes, milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits and a buckeye parfait, a dish with vanilla ice cream with buckeyes, peanut butter topping and hot fudge topping on a parfait.
The orange sherbet is what sets the ice cream stand apart from others. The business mixes the orange and vanilla flavors together to create the sweet treat, which Swick said tastes like a Dreamsicle.
“The thing that I enjoy the most are our customers because we see them on a day-to-day basis and from year to year,” Swick said. “I also enjoy getting to see the kids grow up. It’s a lot of time off and a lot of dedicated time during the summer, but I wouldn’t change it. I love it.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews