Vintage ice cream, fudge shop on its way to Cottage Grove
Drive-in movie theaters, car hops and roller rinks might be history, but one Cottage Grove family is hoping to resurrect a nostalgic pastime: the old-fashioned ice cream and fudge parlor.
Fred Luden Sr., and his son, Fred Luden, Jr., say they are just weeks away from opening Old Tyme Fudge & Ice Cream in the former Blink Bonnie location at 8800 East Point Douglas Road.
The Ludens long thought about opening a business together and earlier this year got serious.
“We saw a lot of empty space here in Cottage Grove and then I began thinking about my bucket list,” said the elder Luden, a former City Council member. “If there would be any two things on there it would be Bridgeman’s ice cream and homemade fudge.”
Bridgeman’s, a Minnesota ice cream company since 1936, signed on as a co-partner and will offer a number of flavors. Skilled fudge makers, along with Luden family members, will also make homemade, rich fudges.
While the 1,800-square-foot building is equipped with the necessary food service equipment, the younger Luden said minor upgrades are under way.
“We’re painting the walls, installing cabinets for the fudge, just minor remodel work,” he said.
The father-son duo expect the ice cream parlor to accommodate 12 tables, or room for around 40 patrons, inside the establishment. Outside seating is also planned.
The Ludens said they expect the summer months to be their busiest time but will be open year-round. Several part-time positions are available and those who are interested can stop by the shop to pick up an application.
While a firm open date has yet to be announced, they hope to have Old Tyme Fudge & Ice Cream up and running later this month.
“We’re just hoping to have a lot of fun with this,” Luden, Jr., said. “We want to have a beneficial relationship with the city and hopefully we’re successful.”
“We want this to be a way for younger folks to make some great memories,” his father added. “And it’s a way for my generation to reconnect with the past.”