Big City Manitowoc
It’s the state’s 24th-largest, but it feels a lot like home
But when Lois Maurer, our producer, signaled for a third time that I should wrap it up, I knew I was just talking and not really thinking about making television. I love it when that happens (even if Lois doesn’t), and it happened a lot in Manitowoc.
For years I voiced the Cedar Crest Ice Cream commercials during Brewers radio games. I was excited to get into the Cedar Crest manufacturing plant in Manitowoc. I toured with Ken Kohlwey, company president, and we were given access to the secrets of this Wisconsin premium smallbatch ice cream institution. The tour was fascinating, but even more exciting was “have whatever you want” at the ice cream shop afterwards. That is exactly what Ken said. He didn’t have to tell me twice. There were over 80 flavors, and yet my choice was easy. “A waffle cone with a scoop of Caramel Collision and a scoop of Elephant Tracks, please.” I also asked for a taste of Birthday Cake ice cream, and the woman scooping the ice cream said that I was the oldest person ever to ask for a taste of Birthday Cake. I gave her a polite smile but inside my head I screamed, “No one asked you, so shut the H up!” Old or young, I love Cedar Crest Ice Cream.
The following day we parked north of the bridge downtown and stepped back in time at Beerntsen’s Confectionary and Café. This place is a salute to past generations. It opened in 1932, and after three generations of Beerntsens was sold to the Schadries in 2003. Asked what they would change about the operation, they answered, “We’re going to get a new outside awning, but it’s going to look exactly the same.” The food is great, but it’s the ice cream sundaes, malts and homemade chocolates that keep people coming back. The homemade chocolate is made on site