For more than 50 years, generations have flocked to the original Zesto in Fort Wayne at the intersection of Broadway and Creighton. Once the temperatures start to soar, it’s almost like a rite of passage. Young mother Amber, who showed up with her stepdaughter Aniya in tow, was born and raised in Fort Wayne and says, “this is one of our hotspots. Once the weather breaks, we’re like Zesto here we come!”
It’s a refrain Kaylee Frauenfelder and Sophia Mulholland hear over and over. The high schoolers have worked in tandem inside the tiny ice cream shack for more than three years. “I think Zesto is important because it brings the community together,” Mulholland says, “It’s been here a long time so a lot of people come and remember what their childhood was like when they came here.” Frauenfelder concurs, “I had a guy come up and say I haven’t been here in 50 years, and I’m like, oh my goodness. I forgot it’s been around that long!”
Robert Griswold fits the bill. He rolls up to the window on his cruiser bike and proudly proclaims he’s been coming to this neighborhood treasure since it opened. He says it’s beautiful to have a place like Zesto to enjoy your ice cream, “the workers are nice and treat you with respect.”
Zesto runs in the family for Mulholland. She remembers eating a Butterfinger Razzle with her mom in the back of their car when she was a young child. Two of her sisters have also worked at the neighborhood landmark which is just a few minutes away from the house she grew up in. Amber concurs that it’s a family thing, “My mom has been bringing us down here forever. All my sisters and their little ones always come and get Zesto right here on this corner.”
Frauenfelder says working at Zesto is always fun. “My favorite thing is when little kids come up and we serve them cones and they ask for sprinkles. They get so excited about that and it clearly makes their day. I love that.”
Some regulars like to stick with the same order every time, but many are like Griswold who says he “likes to shake it up” as he does a little shoulder shimmy dance. On this 91 degree day, he kept it simple with chocolate cone as he rode off on his bike with a satisfied smile.
Dennis Mason was looking for something refreshing to beat the heat. He went with the Black Raspberry Smoothie. “Man it hits the spot,” he says, “that cool that you’re looking for when you’re outside. That AC in a cup. Zesto, man!” His smile says it all. Amber agrees. “There’s nothing better than Zesto on a hot day!”
It’s why the original Zesto in the Summit City is POSITIVELY FORT WAYNE!