I’ll be honest. I love ice cream. I especially love 4 Queens ice cream. So this episode was particularly fun to film. It also made some friends very jealous.
4 Queens Dairy Cream is locally owned, with three stores in the Waterloo area (Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Evansdale). It has what could be described as a cult-like following, with customers who are incredibly loyal and who base seasons of the year on when the stores are open. Each spring when 4 Queens reopens for the season, it is as close to a local holiday as you can get.
We asked why people are such loyal and passionate customers, and a lot of the reason is the fact that the businesses are local. It is based here and people want to support their neighbors. They also have a tremendously successful business, which means that the product is always very fresh. The ingredients for Snowstorms (ice cream mixed in with candy or toppings) are prepped fresh on site and used very quickly. With as many as 400 guests on a busy day, the ice cream is always fresh, as well. Edin made an interesting comment, too. He said that 4 Queens only serves ice cream and cold food like smoothies and slushes. That allows them to focus entirely on the quality of the ice cream product.
I spent a little time behind the counter at a time that wasn’t terribly busy. The teamwork and choreography with several employees working on orders is something incredible to witness. The system they have in place at 4 Queens make it almost ballet-like as you watch the treats being prepared.
If you talk to “regulars” at 4 Queens, you’ll get a variety of answers when you ask what the favorite menu item is. I’m a Snowstorm guy, but broke from my regular order and had the Rice Krispie. It was awesome! Of course you’ll have the cereal, but you also get marshmallow, peanut butter and chocolate mixed in. It is a great treat! We also heard that the Caramel Apple Sundae is highly underrated.
One last nugget for you: There’s a “Surprise” Snowstorm flavor listed. If you order it, the staff doesn’t just stand and “surprise” you. I was actually kind of hoping that was the case. The Surprise is a mix of some awesome candy flavors, so you’re surprised with each bite because each is different.
Make sure you stop by 4 Queens for an ice cream treat or two before they close later this fall!
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- Aaron Buzza, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau