Jennerstown business celebrates 50 years
A beloved Jennerstown ice cream shop will celebrate its 50th year on Sunday.
Krause’s Soft-Freeze has been in the Krause family since it was built in 1968 by Harry Krause, his son, Jerry Krause, and Jerry’s wife, Donna Krause. Harry saw french fry stands at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, and he wanted to bring the business back to Jennerstown.
Lawrence Krause, Harry’s youngest brother, built a fruit stand and an A-frame ice cream stand. Donna would run the fruit stand and ice cream shop in the beginning, but, it seems everyone in the family got a turn in working at the business.
The current owners, John and Judy Krause, purchased the soft freeze from John’s cousin, Dave Krause, in 1990. He rain the soft serve from 1978 to 1990.
John and Judy’s daughters, Elizabeth Kovach, Marissa Muhollen and Amanda Krause, all had a turn in running the shop.
John said many young people have come and gone, working summer jobs there, throughout the years.
“We’ve given a lot of people a start in life,” he said.
A friend, Andy Varney, built them a 7 1/2-foot-tall Steelers chair for people to take photos with, and recently added a smaller chair for kids.
John and Judy also started making their own waffle cones recently.
Judy said that she and John are grateful to their customers who have kept the shop open for 50 years.
“We wanted to do something nice for them,” she said.
To celebrate, the soft freeze is hosting an anniversary party on Sunday, which will include an obstacle course, a bounce house, ice cream eating contests, fireworks and 25-cent foods.
“We want people to come up and tell us about their experiences here,” John said.
And at 3 p.m. they will take a photo of all the past and current employees of the soft freeze.
“It’ll be a fun day for everyone in appreciation for the 50 years of support,” he said.