Carver Creamery

Kailan Johnson and husband Chris Dana, owners of The Carver Creamery, sit outside their new business at 300 Broadway with their children, Davis, Brooke, Ashlyn and CJ.

Two boys recently sat on a bench outside The Carver Creamery, waiting for that new business in downtown Carver to open.

“We don’t live too far away, so we plan on coming here quite often,” said one of the youngsters, who would only identify himself as Billy. “I love ice cream, so this could be one of my favorite places.”

That’s good news for Chris Dana and his wife Kailan Johnson, who plan on opening the traditional ice cream shop with a “soft opening” from Thursday, Aug. 27, through Sept. 4.

The exact times the business will be open will be announced on The Carver Creamery Facebook page or will be noticed by the “open” sign in the store window.

After Sept. 4, plans call for the shop to be open most days from noon to 9 p.m. into October.

“I’ve always wanted to do this kind of thing; always had my eye open for something like this and things just kind of lined up this year,” Dana said.

The couple has an 18-month lease on the building at 300 Broadway in the city’s historic downtown, “so we’re planning to be here for a while,” Dana said. “We think it’s a wonderful location.”

Dana, who owns Picture Perfect Floors, a commercial flooring installation company, had lengthy part-time experience working at an Excelsior ice cream shop in his younger years, and Johnson worked a couple years at Adele’s Frozen Custard in Excelsior.

“It’s a difficult time to start a business, but we’re not worried about making money on it,” Dana said. “It’s more of a life’s passion kind of thing for me. Ever since I was younger, I realized how nice the customers are at an ice cream shop, and it’s so nice to deal and work with people who are in a good mood.”

The couple has spent a large amount of time renovating the business area and getting the proper permitting to open. Plans call for the shop to be an “old-fashioned, hard scoop-type shop that hopefully people remember from their childhood,” Dana said.

There will be 24 flavors from vendor Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream of Madison, Wisconsin, along with sundaes, shakes and malts, and homemade waffle cones and some beverages, he said.

“We are putting our heart and soul behind this to make it happen,” Dana said, adding that there will be gluten- and dairy-free options.

Plans call for the shop to be open from March to October, depending on demand. Staff will be hired accordingly, with Dana looking “to hire kids who can learn responsibility and tasks. That was hugely beneficial for me those first years, to learn responsibility and punctuality and all those kind of things.”

Johnson said the couple “has always talked about operating an ice cream shop. When we moved to Carver about five years ago, we thought this would be a wonderful place to do that.”

The family includes four children; 6-year-old twins Ashlyn and Brooke, 3-year-old Christopher James “CJ”; and Davis, 2.

Future plans call for a possible kids’ area and seating inside the business.

“We’d really like to see more businesses around here as well,” Dana said. “We’re taking a shot at this and really hope it works. I think it will be nice for the community and area.”

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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