STARBUCK, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t love ice cream. Sure, we can enjoy it year-round. But it’s a summertime favorite.
So we wanted to know who’s serving the Best Ice Cream in Minnesota. Your votes sent WCCO’s Natalie Nyhus to a very special Dairy Queen in Starbuck.
“In the 60 years that we’ve been here, we’ve seen 11 presidents, three major wars, economic boom and recession. The country has been through all kinds of things. But you can come here and get some reprieve from the craziness of the world, or maybe after a dusty day in the field. And you can just feel like life is simple,” said manager Carrie Brecht.
Sure, there are Dairy Queens all over the world, but none like this in Starbuck. It’s been owned and operated by the same family – the Anderson’s – for 60 years.
“Dale and Shirley got married in 1956. Her dad was a farmer in South Dakota. He offered a big wedding or chunk of money,” said Brecht. “They chose the cash, bought the DQ, and off they went to Dairy Queen school. They spent a week training, came back and worked for the next two years side-by-side with no employees.”
Their business grew, so did their following and their family. Shirley and Dale Anderson have since passed away, but their son Todd still owns the shop with his trusted manager Carrie at the helm for almost 30 years.
It’s a place where many summer memories have been made along the shores of Lake Minnewaska.
“My memories go way back to when my kids were little. They are both 24 and 26 now. We used to come here when we would go to the cabin. And now my 26-year-old has a 5-year-old and we come here and have Dairy Queen,” said Starbuck resident Kristine Benton.
“We live just a few miles from this Dairy Queen,” said fellow resident David Anderson. “No matter what time you come by morning, noon, night there’s always people here. Always.”
You can be sure you’ll get a sweet treat and be greeted by that neon sign with tilted cone and signature curl.
“I’m a purist, so I love a cone. It’s so iconic. It’s like a slice of Americana. And making a cone is not as easy as it looks,” said Brecht. “When you get to spend your day sharing the joy of ice cream in a small community, that’s a pretty good day.”
Dairy Queen in Starbuck has a huge and loyal following. It’s open seasonally and still going strong now. Your other favorites for ice cream are Izzy’s in Minneapolis, Grand Ol’ Creamery in St. Paul and Nelson’s in Stillwater.