Ice cream on a hot summer day is one of the most delightful parts of the season. As August comes to a close, the summer heat becomes more and more scarce. Those remaining few moments of summer can be spent at the beach, barbecuing, or enjoying a delicious ice cream cone at Fresh Freeze. Fresh Freeze has been operating for 60 years and not much has changed in the decades since it opened, same ice cream, same burgers, same roadside pit stop.

The business has been open for 60 years and is still serving up frozen treats.
Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal
The business has been open for 60 years and is still serving up frozen treats. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Dawn Lundgren, owner and general manager of the Fresh Freeze, arrives to the small shop around 10 a.m. every morning. She fires up the machines, warms the grill, and prepares for the onslaught of hungry patrons that will cram into the small sitting area of the restaurant. She and her small staff serve up a variety of food, everything from ice cream cones to chili dogs. Pretty much every classic summer staple can be found on their robust menu. Behind the giant menu the staff take on the task make multiple orders at once. Flipping patties, mixing malts, and slinging soda. Lundgren usually only has a staff of around eight to 10.

“We still make the burgers the same way they did when they opened 60 years ago,” said Lundgren. Other then dropping a few items in the first year of operation and updating occasionally, everything is the same.

Rhonda Neuerburg working the grill at the Fresh Freeze. The burgers are prepared the same way they were 60 years ago.
Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal
Rhonda Neuerburg working the grill at the Fresh Freeze. The burgers are prepared the same way they were 60 years ago. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Lundgren has been a food aficionado for many years. Her family owned Dairy Queen restaurants in the cities and her in-laws owned KFC in Wadena and Staples. She knew ice cream and chicken but years later she would add burgers and hot dogs to that list. “I started when I was in high school working as a waitress, ever since then I’ve always worked in food,” explained Lundgren.

Everyone has their favorite item on the huge menu. According to Lundgren, everyone loves cones but the big favorite amongst customers is the turtle sundae. Lundgren had a hard time picking out just one menu item as her favorite. In the end she chose a simple cheeseburger stating that she eats burgers almost every day.

Fresh Freeze is open from February to the end of October. They are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily at 303 Jefferson St N in Wadena.