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D & F Dairy Bar celebrating 50 years of ‘Yummy’!
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By Leigh Ann Rutledge
Nothing takes you back to your childhood like stopping at a dairy bar and getting an ice cream cone.
Joanne Saylor makes that trip each day and has for many years. She and husband, Marc, own the B & F Dairy Bar in Scio. They purchased the dairy bar from her parents, Rex and Connie Felgenhauer.
The Felgenhauers, along with Carl Beamer, purchased the dairy bar in 1971, calling it “B & F” for Beamer and Felgenhauer. Beamer passed away in 1987, and the Felgenhauers became sole owners, operating the business for 29 years. The Saylor’s first season was in 2000, making them operators of the business for 21 years.
This year the B & F Dairy Bar is celebrating “50 years of Yummy” being in the Felgenhauer family and is being saluted during the 86th Scio Fall Festival Aug. 19-21. They will be featured in the parade Friday evening and on the commemorative cups.
The Felgenhauers and Beamer
When the dairy bar came up for sale, the three decided to “give it a go” and purchased the business from Charles Palmer. Carl was a machinist at the Scio Pottery. Rex worked construction during the day and maintenance at the dairy bar in the evenings. Connie, a mother of three, manned the dairy bar during the day. Joanne was eight years old when her parents purchased the dairy bar. Her siblings, Steve, was 4 and Christina, 1½. Connie noted “grandma” helped with the kids but they often came to work with her.
“They liked to play in the bubbles in the sink in the backroom,” Connie chuckled.
They first purchase made for the dairy bar was a soft serve machine and served chocolate, vanilla and twist cones. The previous owner used a batch freezer, making the ice cream and dipping it from freezer tubs. Rex laughed, saying he had no experience in the ice cream industry, it was trial and error.
The one thing he did have experience in was making sloppy jo sauce. Using a family recipe, it became “Rex’s signature sauce” and is still served today.
The first employee hired at the B & F Dairy Bar was Cathy Skubovius, a 15-year old high school student. At that time, they wore white dresses and white aprons.
“We were messy,” laughed Cathy. “It was fun working there. The football team and the band would come over.”
The first few years, it was Connie and Cathy manning the dairy bar and serving not just cones, but sundaes, floats, milkshakes, banana splits and a full menu of sandwiches and sides.
While getting the first year under their belts, Connie was sitting inside reading the paper when she heard a big noise. A lady had crashed into the front of building, smashing the entire front of the building in. No one was hurt, but they had to have the front rebuilt.
In 1976, a storage room was added on as the business continued to grow. During the time the Felgenhauers owned the business, they had offered a 44-ounce monster milkshake. Anyone who drank three in a row-132 oz., got a fourth shake free.
Sitting at picnic tables beside the dairy bar, when the monster milkshake was mentioned, Joanne, Connie, Rex and Cathy begin to laugh. A lot of people took on the challenge, only one succeeded.
“One person did drink three in a row, but did not want the fourth one. He couldn’t drink it,” Connie said.
The group continues talking about incidents in the parking lot from those who tried but did not succeed!
Connie also began offering her homemade Texas sheet cake, which is also still offered.
When she turned 12 years old, Joanne began working at the dairy bar. When her parents decided they wanted to retire at the end of 1999, Joanne and Marc purchased the business and remodeled the front before they opened for the 2000 season. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Joanne sometimes brought her kids to work, 10-year triplet boys. Yes, grandma and grandpa helped out.
Three of the girls who had worked at the dairy bar stayed on through the transition. Connie and Rex helped out, not only with the boys, but with the dairy bar.
When the triplets, were 13, son Matt, began working at the dairy bar in the summer and continued through college. To date he is the only male (other than Rex and Carl) employee. “He was really good help, very dependable,” Connie said.
Today the menu includes 30 different sandwiches, such as chicken, beef, pork and fish and a variety of sides. The extensive menu includes many, many ice cream choices, from 8 different flavor burst flavors, a flavor of the week and specialty items deep fried cheesecake sundae, Reese’s sundae and Texas sheet cake sundae.
How do they come up with some of the specialty items? “We get an idea and think, we can do this or that,” Joanne explained. “One idea comes from another and we run with it.”
A second soft serve machine was added to keep up with requests. Joanne makes the flavors of the week. The most popular flavor is blueberry cheesecake.
They also sell a lot of milkshakes and the most requested item, the banana split. In recognition of the 50th anniversary, Joanne is running a special beginning with the street fair through the end of the season – two banana splits in a boat for $6.
The Felgenhauers and Saylors are very excited to be saluted by the street fair committee. The triplets are now 30 and will be back for the festival.
“The street fair is quite a gathering place for people who used to live here,” Joanne added.
Felgenhauer family members continue to work at the dairy bar; Joanne’s granddaughter, Skylar, 17; daughter-in-law, Kris and niece Heather.
Rex and Connie admit neither of them thought owning the dairy bar would last this long, saying they just thought short term. Rex never really liked ice cream that much, but Connie did and still does, as does Joanne.
Cathy reminisced saying, “It was a lot of fun. They are a great family to work for. I even went to Florida with them on vacation.”
“I had a lot of girls work here who were like my own,” Connie added.
Joanne has 10 employees manning the dairy bar, which is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“The customers are great. We just have the best customers,” Joanne stated. “They are what makes it what it is.”
B & F Dairy Bar accepts call in orders by calling 740-945-7265. Cash only.
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