Not Your Average Sundae: Celebrate National Ice Cream Day at These Wisconsin Shops That Pay-It-Forward

National Ice Cream Day
By Christina Lorey
July 15, 2022

More than a cherry—they serve their scoops with charity on top.

While it often seems like there’s a special day for everything, this is one “holiday” you don’t want to miss: National Ice Cream Day.

Sunday, July 17, shops across the country are rolling out special deals, from $1 off dipped cones at Dairy Queen to $5 off purchases of $15 or more at Baskin’ Robbins. 

Even better? Support a Wisconsin-based business. We are the “Dairy State,” after all! 

Whether you’re at the Pearl in La Crosse, Kelley Country Creamery in Fond du Lac, The Windmill up in Tomahawk, or Belts’ Soft Serve in Stevens Point, chances are you’re not far from a local ice cream shop.

Many not only serve scoops, but their communities, too. Mullen’s Dairy Bar in Oconomowoc sponsors Kayak 4 A Cure, and Ramone’s in Eau Claire recently handed over a check for $1,463 to the local Open Door Clinic.

Here are three other shops in Wisconsin that have made charity a cornerstone of their business.

Ice Cream Social

With the tagline “Small Batches for Big Change,” this Madison-based business that started on Instagram during the pandemic now sells half-a-dozen seasonal flavors a week, with fun names like ‘You’re Killin’ Me, S’mores’ and ‘Cherry Styles.’ The best part? The shop gives 10% of its profits to a different charity every quarter, most recently donating $2,700 to the Black Women’s Wellness Center. 

TIP: Bring your dog and order a ‘pup cup’ at the shop’s canine-friendly walk-up window. Click here for the full menu.

Purple Door

Milwaukee’s eclectic ice cream maker is known for using local ingredients to create crazy flavors, from State Fair Creme Puff to Raspberry Jalapeño. Purple Door is also known for its charity, donating 10 cents from every pint sold to Milk for Milwaukee, an organization that provides fresh milk for people living in homeless shelters. 

TIP: Not in Milwaukee? Not only does Purple Door ship statewide, many grocery stores (like Woodman’s, Whole Foods, and Piggly Wiggly) also carry the shop’s best-selling pints. Find your nearest seller here.

Cold Stone Creamery

With seven locations in Wisconsin, the ice cream franchise has partnered with Make-A-Wish for more than 10 years, raising more than $4 million to provide special opportunities for kids living with life-threatening illnesses. A portion of every sale benefits the non-profit. Cold Stone has stores in Appleton, Fitchburg, Green Bay, Middleton, Onalaska, Stevens Point, and Wisconsin Dells.

TIP: Order a ‘Like It,’ ‘Love It,’ or ‘Gotta Have It’ creation July 17 and take advantage of free delivery and/or $4 off any purchase of $20 or more!


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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