Olson’s Ice Cream of Chippewa Falls has purchased mobile ice cream retailer 9 Degrees of Eau Claire.
Olson’s Ice Cream will continue the event-based ice cream scooping operations that 9 Degrees’ former owners Paul and Pam Braun carried out since 2003. Olson’s is planning to serve its ice cream, made in Chippewa Falls, at the events where 9 Degrees has served in recent years, including the Eau Claire downtown farmers market, Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, Tuesday Night Blues, Taste of the Valley, Chalkfest, Festival in the Pines in Eau Claire and at Blues on the Chippewa in Durand.
Since 2015, Olson’s Ice Cream has been the brand scooped by 9 Degrees at the events.
Paul Braun said that, after nearly two decades of serving ice cream to hungry Chippewa Valley patrons, he and his wife are ready for a little free time.
“After 17 great summers of working our regular jobs and doing all the events with 9 Degrees, Pam and I decided it was time to reduce our workload in the summer and go to the events as spectators and enjoy,” Braun said. “We will be helping Olson’s Ice Cream at some events through the 2020 transition. They have been great partners, and we wish them great success in the future.”
Olson’s Ice Cream, which celebrated its 75th anniversary by opening a new store at 80 S. Barstow Street in 2019, has served ice cream at many special events in recent years within a 50-mile radius with most events in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Altoona. Owners Dan, Linda, and Jeremy Hunt say they look forward to serving at the events previously served by 9 Degrees.
Dan Hunt said a mutual respect and friendship helped make the decision easy to buy the business after it went up for sale.
“We became good friends with them over the years, not just business partners but good friends,” Hunt said.
The Brauns will continue the tricycle-based sale of prepackaged ice cream and frozen fruit treats Wednesday evenings in Eau Claire’s 3rd Ward neighborhood and at a handful of summer events. They will operate under the name Paul’s Pop Cycle.
The Brauns, who in 2003 succeeded in their request for changes in the Eau Claire ordinance that previously prohibited sidewalk vending, said they are proud of their role in creating a new energy around Eau Claire’s downtown, and they are grateful for the overwhelming support they received from the public during the 17 summers they have operated. The Brauns commended the organizers of the many music, arts and food events that now provide venues for a growing street food scene in Eau Claire.