A successful business needs something that sets it apart, and that is exactly what the Deep Freeze soft serve ice cream shop in New London is all about. This walk-up and drive-thru mom and pop ice cream shop, owned and run by the Schmidt family, is unlike any other place you’ll find to stop and have a frozen treat. First of all, it is unique because the ice cream…well, it’s really actually made with real cream, and those favorite waffle cones? They are really actually homemade waffle cones, warmed on a waffle iron and rolled into a cone shape with co-owner Kathy’s very own hands. Oh! And that strawberry flavor on your sundae or in your Snowstorm? That’s real actual strawberry, not a flavored syrup.
Both locals and annual visitors consider the Deep Freeze a must-stop experience with so many flavors and varieties to choose from, many becoming favorites that are hard to steer away from. But we patrons must keep trying new things, because there are 1.4 billion treat flavor combination options to choose from! No really, you read that right. One of the faithful employees of the Deep Freeze once did the math. One-point-four-BILLION flavor varieties! And it’s all served up the old-fashioned way–with real ice cream and a smile from a hard-working team member.
It all began with a family truly coming together for a leap of faith. One of Kathy and Richard’s two daughters, Courtney, stopped allowing her dad to dream without leaping. She said, “Dad! Stop saying it and do it!” One spitfire of a young lady knew that if you aren’t going to do it, you may need to stop saying it. And so, a father listened to the wise words of his little girl, and showed her that life is about going after your dreams. The Schmidts bought a corner lot and started the construction project that would house an ice cream shop dream.
What began as a family endeavor grew to include many other families over the years, which says something about the management of the Deep Freeze and the Schmidt family themselves.There have been SEVEN sets of siblings that have worked, or are working, at the Deep Freeze! Clearly, the good experience of one sibling inspires another so these siblings have come together to boss each other around at work and at home.
At the Deep Freeze, there is personal service with that small town feeling, and the Schmidt family listens to their customers feedback and ideas. For instance, the little marshmallow that you find in the bottom of your waffle cone, serving as a yummy little drip-stopper? That was the suggestion of a little girl who walked right up to Richard and demanded that the idea be the obvious solution to the problem of a hole in the bottom of a homemade cone. This brilliant idea was implemented immediately, and now kids of all ages enjoy their extra little tasty treasure at the end of their treat and less mess!
All of this, and many of the Deep Freeze treats have fun background stories behind them, and then those treats become famous fan favorites! Like the Snowstorm inspired by Courtney’s time in Africa–the South African Delight–with mini chocolate chips, strawberry and bits of waffle cone. And another Snowstorm inspired by sister Christa’s college experience in Moorhead–the Dragon Delight–with Oreos and cherry cone dip. (Let us not forget the Peterbilt, named for Kathy and Richard’s truck driving son, Casey.)
During our time together, the Schmidt family made two things very clear: (Well, okay…maybe more than two…) They truly appreciate the community and visitors that support them and spend their time and money at the Deep Freeze. They are sometimes astounded at the love people have for their little ice cream stop, with its great get-happy ice cream options and smiling faces. And secondly, they are truly invested in this community, and have loved being a part of so many customers and employee’s lives here. Oh, and one more thing, these people love to laugh.
As the Deep Freeze begins its 12th season in April, the Schmidt family looks forward to giving you all those flavors and combinations to choose from. Let’s see if we can try all 1.4 billion options!
Thank you, Schmidt family! We’re so glad you’re here!
Christa, Courtney, Kathy and Richard
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A few extra Fun Facts:
- You can get a baby cone for 50 cents! (Many give these to super small kiddos, or big and small dogs!)
- The Deep Freeze can and will make ice cream “pies” made to order. Just give them some advance notice and they’ll make it happen! (I see a birthday party in my future, with a Peterbilt pie.)
- Both Kathy and Richard are at the Deep Freeze every single day that it is open. (Barring the occasional fluke when one or the other needs to miss, which is rare.)
- The Deep Freeze staff gets free ice cream while they’re working…(now watch all those applications fly out the window in April!)
- All seven sets of siblings that have worked at the Deep Freeze have been sisters. (Say seven sets of sister siblings four times fast.)
- The Deep Freeze becomes a tradition for many annual visitors to the lakes area. Once you’ve tried the DF treats, you can’t help but always come back. One example is the yearly faithful visits from the Green Lake Bible Camp counselors. They do not let a year pass without taking a bus over from the camp to keep their ice cream tradition alive.
- If you interview the Deep Freeze Family for an article on this website, you will get to eat Deep Freeze Ice Cream.