Hansen’s Ice Cream Parlor, of Wilmot, announced plans to open a second location in Burlington. The family-owned business includes (from left) Madelyn, 15, Julia, 18, proprietors Kelly and Adam, Erin, 16, and Walker, 13.

Hansen’s Ice Cream Parlor planned in Burlington

By Jason Arndt

While the Shy Violet era in the Chestnut Street loop came to a close earlier this year, another era hasn’t even begun, with Hansen’s Ice Cream Parlor expected to take its place by the fall.

Hansen’s Ice Cream Parlor, which has been a staple for the Western Kenosha County community of Wilmot since 2017, announced plans to open a second shop in Burlington last week.

The family-owned business headed by Kelly and Adam Hansen decided on Burlington after exploring ways to expand its operations.

“We have been wanting to expand the business for awhile,” said Kelly, who has four children with Adam. “We were able to meet a representative with Badger Popcorn in the fall and we had thought about introducing gourmet popcorn. All different flavors of popcorn.”

But because of limited space at its Wilmot store, the Hansens needed to find larger building to hold an ice cream parlor with gourmet popcorn and a full-scale candy shop.

The Hansens, who canvassed multiple areas, found Burlington as the most welcoming.

“We really liked the feel of Burlington, we felt there was a really strong sense of community there and how all of the businesses work together,” said Kelly. “I think that Burlington offers a lot of community events that we would love to be a part of.”

Renovations ahead
The former Shy Violet, 129 E. Chestnut Street, operated as three-story antique business since 1998.

Kelly acknowledged transforming the establishment would take time.

“It was an antique store for 22 years,” Kelly said. “We have a lot to transform.”

As part of the transformation, the Hansens plan to use the main floor for the ice cream parlor and popcorn sales. They target a full-scale candy shop and retail outlets offering merchandise such as sweatshirts and water bottles on the second floor.

Unlike the Wilmot location, which operates on a seasonal basis, the Hansens plan to keep the Burlington store open year-round.

Family vision
Adam, a truck driver by day, initially proposed opening the first store years earlier as fun endeavor.

The fun endeavor started with just Adam and Kelly, along with their four children, serving more than two-dozen flavors of Cedar Crest ice cream.

Their four children are Julia, 18, Erin, 16, Madelyn, 15, and Walker, 13.

The Hansens have since hired more staff, including some area high school students, while adding more menu items.

Within the last two years, Hansen’s Ice Cream Parlor began offering ice cream sandwiches, freshly made waffle cones and some candy.

“We are just trying to find new ways to improve the business and expand the business,” Adam said.

Kelly, a former school social worker in Gurnee, Illinois, said in a 2017 interview with this newspaper she wanted to hire student employees to keep them out of trouble.

The Hansens have plans to offer Burlington area high schoolers an opportunity, she added.

“We will definitely hire some high schoolers. We plan on being in Burlington year round, it won’t be seasonal like Wilmot, so we have to hire adults, too, during the day,” said Kelly, who currently serves on the Board of Education at Wilmot Union High School.

“But I would imagine there would be a lot of high school kids involved in the weekends.”

The Hansens are targeting a November opening, according to Kelly.

Hansen’s Ice Cream Parlor, 11323 Fox River Road, Wilmot is across the street from Wilmot Auto Service and near Wilmot Stage Stop.

The planned business is the latest addition to the Chestnut Street loop with Runaway Micropub and Nanobrewery, which opened recently. The Loop Commons, housed in the former Coach’s Bar, is still under renovation.


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