Baraboo entrepreneur plans ice cream parlor

September 21, 2018


A Baraboo entrepreneur is working to bring a throwback ice cream parlor to the city’s historic downtown district.

Retired U.S. Army veteran Mike Yount is launching a 1940s-themed ice cream parlor and soda foundation called Tin Roof Dairy. He and wife Jennifer Yount are negotiating to buy a downtown building. He has mounted a $25,000 online funding campaign to pay for renovations such as installing antique front and back bars.

“All of that will be in that 1930s-1940s theme,” he said. “That takes time.”

Yount said his business will serve homemade sodas and 32 flavors of premium ice cream, as well as floats, malts and banana splits. He hopes to open next spring. “Hopefully I’ll be able to jump into the summer,” he said.

He’s intent on finding a downtown location for Tin Roof Dairy, even if current negotiations stall. Yount said Baraboo’s Rockwellian downtown square is the ideal spot for an old-time ice cream parlor.

“I’ve fallen in love with Baraboo,” he said. “I thought it would be really cool to own something in the historic district of Baraboo that meets and matches that feel.”

Tin Roof Dairy would serve Chocolate Factory ice cream at first, but Yount hopes to add homemade ice cream down the line. He plans to employ five to 10 people, including uniformed soda jerks.

For now, Yount is focusing on promoting a GoFundMe campaign that so far has raised $600. “The costs keep creeping up here and creeping up there,” he said.

Still, he’s optimistic about opening Tin Roof Dairy by March. It would stay open year-round, serving homemade hot chocolate in the winter.

“I’m well on my way to making this a reality,” Yount said. “Everyone loves ice cream.”

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