Toppings Ice Cream Parlor Opens in Bluffton
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff, Ambassadors, and community supporters gathered for the official opening and ribbon cutting for Toppings Ice Cream Parlor located at 135 West Market Street in Bluffton. The new ice cream shop opened on April 5, 2021.
Toppings Ice Cream Parlor is owned by Mari, Angie, and Chip Topp. Mari said she knew since seventh grade that she wanted to do something in life serving others. Six years later her vision was to open an ice cream shop, which was inspired by her grandmother, who passed away last year. Mari said, “if she were here today, she would be trying to help and do what she could because she was a servant. Mom (Angie) thought I was crazy when I suggested we open an ice cream shop; but, here we are and this is for God’s glory and my prayers are that you feel Jesus whenever you come here.”
The Topp family took possession of the space last December and renovations to prepare the space moved forward. “There was a lot to remodel to get the space ready such as removing partial walls, prepping work for the bathrooms and kitchen, fixing holes, installing new electricity and plumbing, and pulling up four layers of flooring,” explained Angie. “It was exciting to get the floor down to the wood that has been there since the mid 1800’s.”
Keeping another piece of the nostalgia from the mid 1800’s of the building are the original pipes that come down holding the unique light fixtures. “The pipes provided gas to the lamps to give light in the space,” said Angie.
Angie stated that she is grateful for the assistance of the CRP (Community Reinvestment Program) funds, and the support of Bluffton NOW!, Toppings was granted to allow this project to become reality. “We are also thankful for the many local businesses that helped with the remodel such as Meyer Renovation, Bluffton Heating and Plumbing, Habegger’s Ace and Steve Frauhiger, CJ’s Flooring, and Salazar’s Drywalling,” said Angie. “We have really been blessed.”
Chris Pulver provided the Topps with ideas of logos and mural designs in the parlor. “He came up with the creation of our logo and we had Clint Gerber at Baller Signs professionalize them,” stated Angie. “Chris painted a beautiful mural on the wall in the restaurant and it turned out amazing.”
The ice cream provided at Toppings Ice Cream Parlor is from the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream based out of Madison Wisconsin. The ice cream has a butter cream and creamy consistency and are very strict how their product is presented. “We can only sell their product, which is fine because their product is so good,” Angie said. “They have over 100 flavors; however, we can only sell 24 at a time. We found them because we love ice cream and they are one of the best we have found.”
Toppings has hired a few special needs employees because the Topp family felt it is important to give them an opportunity to have work experience as well. “From our experience there are a lot of great people that are being held back and we wanted to give them an opportunity and they will be able to handle it,” said Angie.
Angie said she is so thankful for her family coming together to get the business up and running. Chip, Angie’s husband, has been instrumental in helping with so much of the work and will manage the payroll and books for the business. “It’s all about timing and when Mari had the idea of opening an ice cream shop the only way I would consider this is if we were on the first block of Market Street and if we can get the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream to sell; within 48 hours they both fell into place.”
Toppings Ice Cream Parlor also offers options of no sugar added, dairy free, soy-based ice cream, milk shakes, sundaes, and a hot food option such as hot dogs with toppings. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 11am to 8pm and until 9:30 Friday and Saturday.
Pictured in the photo cutting the ribbon is:
Mayor John Whicker
Gavin Topp, Toppings Ice Cream Parlor
Chip Topp, Toppings Ice Cream Parlor
Mari Topp, Toppings Ice Cream Parlor
Erin Prible, Wells County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director