Endless, Kansas summer-day heat topping 100 degrees only can be eased by one thing: ice cream.
Wichita has a multitude of cold treat options, from the locally established custard chain Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers to the new and trendy Churn & Burn on south Oliver, which uses liquid nitrogen to quick-freeze its ice cream.
Candice Lee, owner of the east and west location Baskin-Robbins, said the reason the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain has survived 71 years among all the competition is because of the variety of flavors the store offers. The chain emphasizes keeping 31 flavors stocked, one for each day of the month, but Lee said her stores have at least 40 on hand at all times.
“There is a lot of Baskin-Robbins nostalgia,” Lee said. “People come in and say, ‘This was my favorite flavor when I was little.’”
An unscientific survey of more than 150 Splurge! readers revealed that ice cream is the favorite treat above custard, shaved ice and frozen yogurt by a factor 3:1. Wichitans like to purchase their ice cream often, and 25 percent of respondents said they get ice cream at least once a week, with 3 percent of those stating they purchased ice cream three or more times a week.
The survey takers’ favorite Wichita frozen treat was Freddy’s signature turtle concrete, made with frozen custard.
“We’re honored we have been voted a favorite in your survey,” said Lexie Pearce, Freddy’s public relations manager.
However, the favorite overall location to pick up cold, creamy ice cream was Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores, which received 32 percent of the overall vote.
“I love Braum’s because it’s just classic, good ol’ ice cream, and it’s delicious,” said Sara Wallace of Derby.
Wichitans are loyal to their own, however, and Freddy’s received 22 percent of the votes, earning it the survey’s second-favorite local ice cream brand.
Other favorites included College Hill Creamery, Baskin-Robbins, Churn & Burn and Dairy Queen. So whether Wichitans preferred their ice cream old-fashioned, frozen with liquid nitrogen or mixed up into a concrete or DQ Blizzard, most agreed summer wouldn’t be summer without ice cream.
“Ice cream is gooey and messy sometimes, but I love looking at all the colors of the flavors,” Baskin-Robbins’ Lee said. “To be around all the little kids showing that much enthusiasm for ice cream, it’s really exciting.”