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Ice cream sales keep rolling

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FAMILY TIME: Gerald Turner, left, Wanda Morgan, middle, and Debbie Persinger enjoy a meal together at Ivanhoes.
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A LOCAL TRADITION:A Garfield statue, harboring a triple stacked ice cream come, stands outside Ivanhoes, which iswell-known for its ice cream.
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A FROZEN TREAT: Robert Wine, supervisor at Ivanhoes, pours vanilla soft serve ice cream into a bowl.

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

 UPLAND — Thanks to uncharacteristically warm winter weather, Ivanhoes, a popular restaurant and treat destination in Upland, is enjoying an increase in ice cream sales.

Statistically, the weather average for early January in Upland is around 25 degrees. Yet, so far in 2019 the weather has regularly hit well into the 40s, sometimes even breaking the 50 degree mark.

This bodes well for Ivanhoes, which is enjoying an influx in ice cream and sundae sales.

“This year we’re actually doing a heck of a lot better than we did last year at this time,” said Darren Rutledge, a manager at Ivanhoes. “Last year on our books we have that it was 0 degrees, but this year it’s 40, close to 50 degrees.”

This is exciting news for the restaurant, which usually sees ice cream and sundae sales halve from summer to winter.

“(Warm weather) definitely brings people out,” said Jennifer Hunter, a manager at Ivanhoes. “Nobody wants to get out of the house (for ice cream) when it’s cold outside.”

However, weather isn’t the only factor helping to sell ice cream, according to Rutledge.

“It’s quality,” he said. “We usually keep the best ice cream we can get. We don’t like to skimp on people.

“When it’s quality and (there is) good customer service, I (always) hear people talking about Ivanhoes,” he said. “There’s times when we’re super busy (in the summer) and can’t get people out as fast as we can.”

During the summer the most popular flavors are “Oreo Overload,” which is hand-dipped in cookies and cream ice cream with Oreos, hot fudge, whipped cream, and sprinkles, and the “Trojan 2,” a hand-dipped chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with chocolate covered graham crackers, peanut butter topping and hot fudge.

Come winter time, peppermint ice cream becomes the big hit, although there are plenty of “Oreo Overloads” and “Trojan 2s” still sold.

The warmer weather has also been helping Ivanhoes sell more tenderloins.

“Since it’s been nice out we’ve been selling tenderloins like crazy,” he said. “During the summer months it’s hard to keep tenderloins made. It’s dramatic how much of a difference it is in the summer than in the winter.”

Throughout the year much of Ivanhoes business comes from Taylor university.

“I’d say it’s about a quarter to half of our business,” said Rutledge. “There’s a lot of regulars who come in all the time that work at Taylor. Coaches come in and we give ‘em discounts. Sometime they have home games and it brings other teams in.”

Although with new downtown development plans in the works, Rutledge expects more business to be brought in.

Dollar General will be opening soon nearby and next door what was DollarSmart, has rebranded to Walnut Creek Outdoors, which sells Amish baked goods and fresh produce.

The more businesses Upland gets, the busier Ivanhoes will be, according to Rutledge.

Perhaps one of Ivanhoes’ customers explained the restaurant’s draw the best:

“I come because it’s just Ivanhoes,” said Debbie Persinger. “You’re supposed to come to Ivanhoes.”