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 in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. 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!
We have just completed our 2015 season.
The Morris Lion's had perfect weather and record crowds at their popular car show and swap meet. As it was our last
event, we had just enough bars to take to that event and sold just about every bar. We did not schedule a yearend parking
lot sale this year. Thank you to our loyal customers and kind comments at Morris. When we attend that event, we
know we are loved (well, the bars anyway ;-).
Also, we posted
a notice on our trailers at the Fall Jefferson Swap Meet 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 had many regular customers confused by
that. 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. We
will post our show schedule in February or early March to reflect the changes. 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 to be able to buy a Big Bar at our 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 16 years ago.
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. Everyone
who attends this event has been able to enjoy almost perfect weather for the first three this year - with July being one of
the largest attended cruise nights we have hosted in 12 years! 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. 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 the Jefferson Swap
Meet in September.