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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Ramone's Ice Cream Parlor

When Blayne Midthun and his wife Kayla paid a visit to a Malt and Grill in Stillwater, Minnesota, they had no idea it would inspire them to open their own business, Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor, in Eau Claire. Lifelong residents of Eau Claire, the Midthuns found that it lacked a tried-and-true destination for ice cream.

But before the Midthuns’ dream of opening an ice cream parlor could be realized, they knew they needed to refine the more technical aspects of their potential business. With the help of a Business Development Specialist at the Western Dairyland Women's Business Center, Blayne was able to successfully write a business plan for Ramone’s. “We’re really hoping that we can bring a new flavor to downtown and piggyback on the many businesses and city developments that have made our downtown the place for families,” Blayne said.

In addition to help from the Women's Business Center, Blayne has drawn inspiration from Olson’s Ice Cream in Chippewa Falls. “Dan Hunt, the owner of Olson’s, was very helpful in answering questions and getting our business started," he said. "To me, our area is complete now, by having one parlor in Chippewa Falls and another in Eau Claire.”

Blayne’s compassionate attitude is reminiscent of that of his grandfather Maynard, who served as a Lutheran minister for more than 50 years. Maynard frequently spoke of a symbolic red balloon during sermons to express messages of hope and love-- the very same kind of balloon that graces the Ramone’s logo.

When asked, “Why ice cream?” Blayne said that he and his wife love to interact with people and want to make them smile. He adds, “What better way than handing them an ice cream cone?”

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