Welcome to Kent's Ice Cream,
Home of the BIG BAR
Welcome to the Kent's
Ice Cream, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin website. We handmake a popular ice cream product called the BIG BAR and vend them at various
events mainly in Wisconsin. Yes, this is still the Kent's Ice Cream that began in Fort Atkinson in 1941. We still use
old fashioned recipes and very high quality ingredients. Not much tastes like it used to 30 years ago - except
a BIG BAR!
Despite the cold start to the 2018 year, we have been scheduling shipments of raw material to begin BIG BAR
production for the season. We will begin posting our 2018 schedule in late February or early March. Thank you
to everyone who supports this small business!
Some of you may have noticed we have the Big Bar business for
sale. Although we still love what we do, it is time to find the next caretakers for this business.
When we found out at Fall Jefferson 1999 that the original Big
Bar owners wanted to retire, we knew nothing about how they were made, how they were marketed or even where they were
made. We met with the owners and found out we would have to leave our beloved UP home and sell our collector cars if
we wanted to be the next generation to keep the Big Bar tradition going. The business came with a building that was
(and still is) a registered dairy plant and doubled as the owners home with a large apartment above the production area (it
has been our home for all these years as well). It was a difficult move for us, but we were 'all in' and looked
forward to a new, exciting adventure - and that is exactly what we have experienced in the years we have owned Kent's
Ice Cream. We would not change a thing!
What started as putting up a 1934 Gulf gas station sign on a
post has become an obsession to cover the visible portions of our building with old advertising signs to give it a little
more appeal (at least to us anyway). There are signs for gas & oil, auto, tractors & implements, soda,
seed and construction equipment included. A few years ago, this form of art would have been frowned upon, but advertising
signage has become mainstream enough for many to appreciate the history involved with them. We keep an eye open for
old, beat up signs to add to the building at all the events we attend.
This is the building we hand make each big bar. It also doubles as our place of residence.
It is a throwback to the days when many family owned businesses were also where these folks lived. There are still several
businesses in our town doing the same thing.
Here is a group of regular big bar customers having a great time
at the Jefferson Swap Meet!
Above is a photo taken of the September 2017 Jones Park cruise night
where the bulk of the classics parked on the ball field. They looked great under the lights! Excellent weather
was on hand that evening for a packed house! More photos are on the cruise night page.
The above photo was taken
of a great group of car guys and gals that stopped at the Big Bar factory on their way to the Dells show in May 2015.
Thanks to Mark & Jackie for putting it together for their group. They all got a quick tour (sorry, we were not in
production that day) and, of course, their favorite big bar! We know this is an old photo, but it is a favorite of ours
and we see many of these folks at a lot of shows.
Kent's Ice Cream,
916 Madison Avenue
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
Above shows Lauren, a good friend, who has helped us at some
events and loves the bars. She decided to put a big bar bumper sticker on her car - we could not resist posting it here.
Here's an enterprising young man, Vinny, hauling parts at a
past Jefferson Swap Meet in September. Note the date on the photo. Sorry this photo has been here so
long, but it is one of our personal favorites from all the years we have been doing this and, sad to report, Vinny past
The above picture was taken
at the Iola Car Show & Swap meet about 10 years ago - still a favorite of ours. We enjoyed the Iola event again
this year! Other than a bad storm late Friday, Iola had near perfect weather and was packed with spectators and
vending season is over for 2017, thank you to all who continue to support the big bar and help keep it a tradition at many
events. Below is a link to the first event of 2018 we will be attending, the Jefferson Swap Meet and Car Show will
return to the Jefferson Fair Park in April of 2018 to kick off their 41st year!