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Local

Ollie’s opens for 27th season

Courtney Olson (front) and Laura Erickson work Wednesday to make frozen treats at Ollie’s Frozen Custard in Sycamore.
Courtney Olson (front) and Laura Erickson work Wednesday to make frozen treats at Ollie’s Frozen Custard in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Joe Cranden said people know spring is around the corner when Ollie’s opens for the season.

Cranden, who owns Ollie’s Frozen Custard in Sycamore with his wife, Valerie, said the first day of its 27th season had been busy since opening at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday with a flurry of customers, deliveries, phone calls and orders.

Sitting at a picnic table in front of the business, DeKalb residents Paula Hastings, Heather Freund and Jill and David Downs acknowledged it was a bit funny to sit outside wearing coats or sweatshirts while eating frozen custard.

The temperature was just above 40 degrees, but customers said enjoying the creamy treats again was worth it. Some took frozen custard back to their cars to eat.

“We were very excited about opening day,” Hastings said.

Hastings, who said slushies are her favorite menu item, said Ollie’s is a popular spot because it’s a “mom-and-pop joint.”

“There’s something about standing outside and eating outside that’s fun,” Jill Downs said.

NIU student Jeremy Navratil estimated he went to Ollie’s about 30 times last summer. He and friends Rebecca Tiwet and Alec LeHouillier also sat outside Ollie’s eating frozen custard.

“You can be creative and get something different every time,” Tiwet said of the menu and number of toppings.

Ollie’s, which the Crandens have owned since 2000, remains a staple in the community.

“Once the spring rolls around, every night, there’s lines around the place,” LeHouillier said.

Cranden said it’s amazing to see people stand in lines, which often wrap around the small building.

“There’s a reason why,” he said.

Cranden credited staff with keeping lines moving quickly and said he plans to open a second window for “express” orders such as cones or dishes of custard.

For daily flavors and hours, visit www.olliessycamore.com or call 815-758-8222.

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