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!
NOTE: We will be having a parking lot sale this Friday, September 30th from 4:30pm until sold out.
There are limited quantities of most flavors, sorry, no Mint or Cocoa Custard bars. Like in past years, there will be
packs made up and a limit of 20 bars maximum per family is in place (please be respectful of this limit so others can enjoy
some bars). The cost will be $2.00 per bar in ten packs ($20 per 10-pack) for this one-time sale. Thank you!
We have been posting a notice on our trailers this
year that we are cutting our event schedule back for 2016 and we may begin the search for the next dedicated 'caretakers'
for the Big Bar. We love the business and, more importantly, love the regular customers we have gotten to know
over the years. We still have plenty of passion for what we do, but there comes a time when we have to slow the
pace down a little. As the current 'caretakers' of the Big Bar tradition, we know it is our responsibility to find
someone to continue its tradition when it comes time for us to let it go. After all, we want you to be able
to buy a Big Bar at your favorite shows long after we no longer are making them. We felt by putting the word out early,
there may be a loyal customer who wants to be the next 'caretaker' someday down the road. That is how we jumped in 17 years
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 17 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!
Above is our latest crazy venture. Our building is a rather
bland, vinyl sided old place, but has a lot of traffic go by. So, 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. Not only is this the main reason we have been able
to keep an old business alive, but the hours spent working during our season make it necessary to have our living quarters right
up on top of the production area.
Above are a couple photos from recent Jones Park cruise nights. One
is from last year and the other was from the September cruise night this year where we parked on the ball diamond, under the
lights! The cruise night season is winding down, but check our cruise night page for some you can still attend this
fall. 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!
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 hauling parts at a past Jefferson
Swap Meet in September. Note the date on the photo. This young man came to our trailer this year at the Fall Jefferson
Swap Meet and he out of college already! 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.