By Chris Shaffer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In lake country, whether it’s baiting a hook or trekking the woods, almost everyone has their favorite time of year.

In Osakis, which is parked next to one of the best fishing lakes in the state, the locals are getting antsy. There’s something in the air.

You see, this is ice cream season! And everyone in these parts knows Tip Top Dairy Bar is the place to be.

The mother-and-son team of Bernice and Kyle Kostrzewski are renowned for giving folks their ice cream fix.

“They are lined up from the order window clear across the parking lot,” Bernice said.

The Tip Top has been selling smiles to locals and vacationers alike since 1955. The Kostrzewskis have been carrying the torch for the last ten years.

tip top dairy bar best ice cream shop in minnesota WCCO Viewers Choice For Best Ice Cream Shop In Minnesota

(credit: CBS)

“I started teaching here in Osakis 11 years ago,” Kyle said. “My father and my mother and I always wanted to have a place of our own.”

Then Kyle got a tip from a teacher friend.

“They said, ‘You know, the Tip Top’s for sale and you should go, you know, look at it,'” he said.

With his father Dennis’ good head for business, and mother Bernice with a long history in food service, the Tip Top was, well, a tip-top idea.

“Any business that’s been here for that long, you know there’s something special about it,” Kyle said.

Cones, shakes and sundaes aren’t the only draw to the Tip Top. The chili dog is a masterpiece, as are their burgers.

“Last year [we sold] 18,000 hamburgers,” Bernice said.

McDonald’s — watch out!

It’s plain to see that the key to the Kostrzewskis success isn’t in the ice cream or the great food. It’s through hard work that they’ve managed to maintain a 60-year old legacy that the people in Osakis can call their own.

“Osakis has a lot to offer and I’m just glad that we’re part of that,” Kyle said.

The Tip Top Dairy Bar is open from the first Monday in April to the first Sunday in October.


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