MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every time you buy a malt from the Kiwanis Malt Shop at the Minnesota State Fair, you’re doing more than getting a sweet treat. You’re also giving back to the community.
The Kiwanis Malt Shop serves up chocolate, vanilla or strawberry malts. And 100% of its proceeds go to Minnesota services projects for kids.
After being at the state fair for 50 years, their malts have led to millions of dollars for Minnesota service projects.
Brian Pearson seeks out what this booth is serving up every year.
“Well you got to love this malt stand. This is the one I went to with my grandpa and my dad. It’s not the state fair until you’ve gotten a Kiwanis malt,” Pearson said.
As for Paul and Betty, they’ve been loyal malt shop customers for the last 25 years.
“It only makes sense that they would be here for 50 years because it’s the best,” Paul said.
It’s certainly a fan favorite for the last 50 years. Todd Levig has been running the malt shop for the last 13 years
“They started off in a small, probably 6-by-6 space, and they worked out of 3-by-3 box. They’d pour in the three gallons of ice cream, add the malt powder, and stir and stir and stir,” Levig said. “Over the years, you can see we’ve kind of upgraded and moved around.”
Levig, and everyone else who works the stand, are volunteers.
“It’s like a reunion week,” Levig said.
They are serving up ice cream simply to serve the community. Every $5 spent on a malt goes to one of the 28 service groups, from Elk River to Rochester.
“One of the ones is Northern Voices, where they help kids that are born deaf get their cochlear implants,” he said.
In the last 50 years, $2 million worth of malt revenue has gone back into Minnesota communities.
“It’s a lot of opportunity to enrich the lives of the people in the community,” he said.
So the lesson here: Drink malts!
Another state fair staple celebrating 50 years is the Giant Slide. Both will be honored in a special ceremony on Monday — the last day of the fair.