In 1912, Door County merchant pioneer, Al Mickelson, built a special place for Sister Bay residents and visitors to purchase food and enjoy ice cream treats. The store became known as a source of local information in addition to excellent food and service. Today, the tradition lives on in the Door County Ice Cream Factory and Sandwich Shoppe.
Al Mickelson’s General Store remained in operation under different ownership and different names (Strahls, Rhodes, and The Beach Road Market among others) when it finally closed its doors in 1988. After remaining vacant for 4 years, John Blossom, Jr. and his son John Blossom III purchased the building just up the road from the family summer cottage with dreams of turning it back into a destination for residents and visitors alike. It was on this premise that the Door County Ice Cream Factory and Sandwich Shoppe was born. John Blossom III, or Jay as he is more commonly known, would make all the ice cream in an old Emery Thompson batch freezer. After a few years of ice cream production and serving homemade sandwiches, Jay decided to add pizza to the menu. In 1999, Jay decided to sell the business to a then employee at the Ice Cream Factory (Hint, its me).
In April of 2000, Jay and his father sold the Door County Ice Cream Factory to me, Todd Frisoni. At age 21 at the time, I needed some help from my parents to secure the financing. After working for Jay for 6 summers to put myself through school at UW-Madison, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I love owning my own business. Each day is full of new challenges, but that is what makes it fun. I enjoy interacting with our customers and employees as well as creating new and exciting ice cream flavors. My wife is a registered nurse who works at the local retirement community, Scandia Village. We have two children, Leonardo and Silvia, who enjoy eating ice cream as much as they can. Leo loves to help around the shop, and who knows, the next time you are in, maybe he will be here to serve you your cone. I invite you to stop in and enjoy a scoop of homemade ice cream, or a sandwich, or a pizza and look around at all of the wonderful photos that adorn the walls of my shop. Slow down and take a look at what life was like in northern Door County in the early 20th century. And if you have a question about one of the photos, I would be happy to answer.
Thanks for stopping by,