I actually have already written about Kimmer’s Ice Cream before. Or at least the location. Kimmer’s is located in the space occupied for many years by the former Gramp’s Frozen Custard, along the Fox River in downtown St. Charles.
But along with a name change and interior makeover, Kimmer’s is owned by an enthusiastic young woman who is eager to try out new flavors of her homemade ice cream and work with the community. Read on to find out more about the latest entry in the “Ice Cream Diaries.”
Name: Kimmer’s Ice Cream
Address: 1 W. Illinois St. in Charles, in the Fox Island Square complex and across the street from the Blue Goose Supermarket. Phone: 630-762-9480. There’s a parking lot in front of the store with plenty of shops.
Hours: Monday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Good for: Anyone enjoying an outing in downtown St. Charles or riding the Fox River bike paths. It makes for a wonderful, scenic walk along the river from the nearby Mt. St. Mary Park. Kimmer’s would definitely be of interest to ice cream connoisseurs who want to try some gourmet scoops. Kimmer’s offers your standard favorites, but on a recent visit it also had Aztec hot chocolate, honey with lavender infusion, black raspberry and caramel sea salt. Other unusual flavors the shop often has in its rotation include red velvet cake, coffee and donuts and cinnamon roll. In total, you’ll have about 20 flavors to choose from.
The shop’s history: Batavia native Kimberly Elam bought the former Gramp’s Frozen Custard in October 2010. She says she’s loved ice cream since she was a toddler and worked through high school at a Fox Valley ice cream shop. She studied business and entrepreneurship in college and then immediately enrolled in Ice Cream University. (I want to go to Ice Cream University!)
Prices: Here’s my only caveat on Kimmer’s. I do feel like it’s on the pricy side. A kid’s scoop is $2.75, a single dip is $3.35 for the gourmet flavors, a sundae is $4.25 and a “concrete” with a mix-in is $5.25. But as my husband pointed out when I brought the prices up after our most recent visit, you can definitely taste the quality of the ice cream and the fact that it is homemade.
The Experience: My family has visited Kimmer’s Ice Cream a number of times since it changed over from being Gramp’s. Whereas Gramp’s had an old-fashioned vibe, Kimmer’s has added lots of hot pink glitzy elements. It’s very cute.
Kimmer’s usually has a steady stream of customers. Many of them get their ice cream to go, so we’ve never had trouble finding a seat. My daughter loves the child-sized table and chairs. There are also a couple of benches outside.
Service is efficient and friendly. On one recent visit, we had to request about 10 of those mini-sized taster spoons (that’s the way the preschooler wanted to eat her treat, but she kept breaking them) and the girls behind the counter didn’t bat an eyelash.
Of course the most important part is the ice cream: It’s truly great. Extremely fresh and creamy. And I love trying out new flavors: Last time it was the “parent trap” — Oreos and a peanut butter ribbon in vanilla ice cream. Yum! Kimmer’s also sells decorated ice cream cakes and pies, along with shakes, malts and sundaes, but I must admit I’ve always just stuck with a traditional ice cream cone and walked away satisfied.
Notes: You should become a fan of Kimmer’s Facebook page to keep up on its current flavors. Also, the shop is willing to work with Scouts, camps and schools on fundraisers or tasting tours of Kimmer’s, and it can host birthday parties, too.