Story by Keith Wren, Cone Owner
1973: The Beginning
The Wren family has been making premium ice cream since 1973. Our original store was located in the Lockland-Reading, Ohio area. It was small in comparison to THE CONE but served a combination of sandwiches and ice cream. My parents worked very long hours developing a strong customer following. Customers would drive great distances to get our nearly famous soft serve orange and vanilla swirl cone, or one of our footlong cheese coneys!
When my father was a child he helped fill the ice cream machinery where his sister worked because they could not lift the heavy containers. From that time on, he dreamed of having an ice cream store of his own. The whole family was involved from the beginning in following Dad's dream. My mother ran the store during the day with my dad's help. I worked there starting at age 14, my brother Kyle started at age 12 and my younger sister Tricia started going to the family ice cream store when she was a baby (sleeping in an empty cone box).
Eventually I became interested in building a new ice cream store in West Chester. We wanted something different and we found it in Florida. My mom and dad were on vacation and spotted a Cone building up for sale. We drove down the next week to buy it and haul it back to Ohio. There were many delays because of the unusual undertaking of building a non-traditional progromatic building. My father, father in-law, and I worked very hard to erect THE CONE. My father in-law, James Sies, was very strong and was pretty much the muscle we needed to put things together.
1995: The Cone Opens!
In July of 1995 THE CONE opened its doors for the first
time. We had one cash register but found out the first
week that we needed to order another one! From the
beginning the eye-catching building brought families
from the greater Cincinnati area.
We put a very strong emphasis on family FUN. Over
the years we have added a large awning over a number
of our outdoor tables, kiddie rides in an enclosed area,
and an outside mural in addition to the one in our dining room. Families and friends often gather in this comfortable environment to talk and share a cone. It has become a landmark that brings the community closer together.
Our #1 selling cone is our orange & vanilla twist. In the year 2000 we added new machines that enable us to sell soft serve Cone-made strawberry ice cream with REAL strawberries - NO artificial flavor! Our concept is to provide the best tasting ice cream and related products in a clean, safe family environment! THE CONE has become a landmark in West Chester for our unique building and tasty treats.
2004: The Cow Truck Arrives!
Yes, it plays music and even moos as it drives around town!
2005: The Cone addition is finally completed!
This enables us to carry two flavors of yogurt at once. The addition also includes another order window and a second pickup window to serve our guests even more quickly, and is designed to add a drive-thru.
2005: The Mobile Cone concession trailer arrives!
We had been searching for several years for a concession trailer
shaped like The Cone and finally found one in Louisiana. Towing
it back to Ohio with the Cow Truck was quite an adventure,
especially since we didn't know its exact height and 14 ft.
underpasses looked quite low! After major renovations, The
Mobile Cone appeared at its inaugural event, St. Max's festival,
in June. Off to a great start, the Mobile Cone participated in ten
other events that season. By expanding to school and corporate
events, the Mobile Cone participated in sixty events during the
2007 season, serving ice cream cones, shave ice, and sometimes
even sundaes to appreciative customers. Our largest event by far
has been the Riverfest WEBN Fireworks these past several years
with approximately 500,000 people in attendance!
2007: The Drive-Thru opens!
On March 29, our long awaited drive-thru finally opened and was a huge success. No more leaving your car when it's too cold, too hot, too rainy, your little one is asleep in the car seat, or you need to be very quick as your employees think you're out on sales calls (ask a local bank manager about that one!).
2009: The Game Room is Under Construction!
When completed, it will hold apprx. 11 arcade games, geared mainly toward children, with several family - friendly games for adults. in addition, many new kiddie rides have arrived & will be available in the enclosed outdoor area.
2010: The Game Room is complete plus the addition of many new kiddie rides!
5 Pinballs, 15 Kiddie Rides, Pacman/Galaga, and much more!
2011: Two more Mobile Cones are up and operating!
With three units, we can run multiple events simultaneously!
2013: Pinside and Penny Press!
We now belong to Pinside which is a global group for finding places to play pinball! We have also added a Penny Press produces 4 souvenir pennies!
2014: Electronic Loyalty Cards
We now offer electronic Loyalty Cards that build points every time you make a purchase at The Cone! Free Items and offers get better and better with your growing point level!
2014: New Drive Thru Menu
Giant state-of-the-art Drive Thru menu board!