At Ice Cream Shack of Sunnyland, Chief Operating Officer William Reis is the third generation of his family to join the business, which was founded by his mother and grandfather, Monica Reis and William Taylor.
“For years – during my childhood – they had planned that they wanted to own an ice cream shop,” Reis said.
The family has run the store since 2007, and Reis said more family members got involved after it opened.
His grandmother, Mona Taylor, made the brownie recipe that’s still used by the store. Reis said his father, Robert Reis Sr., was also “instrumental” in the store – which is located at 2306 Washington Road in Washington.
A little over 15 years later, Henry’s family business is expanding. Reis said he expects Reisons to open in mid-April.
More: The family takes a leap of faith and opens a one-of-a-kind ice cream parlor in Morton
keep classics: Customers will find many of the same items served at the Ice Cream Shack of Sunnyland. While the menu for Reisons hasn’t been released yet, the Washington store’s items include:
- Burgers from $4.39 to $6.04
- Nachos from $3.44 to $8.89
- Wizards from $3.64 to $4.39
- Sundae from $1.84 to $5.49
Bring back flavors: With the new location, Reis hopes the store can also revive some flavors of ice cream – like different fruit flavors or Twix.
“(They) weren’t popular enough to make the cut when we were a business,” Reis said. “We’re hoping to reintroduce these as full-time items where we can split up these products.”
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Updating the room: According to Reis, work on the building began on March 20.
Reis, formerly a Dairy Queen location, wants the look to “pay homage to the ’60s, when you walked to the window, got your order, and then sat at a park table.”
He said the front of the building has been demolished to create the walk-through ordering area and a drive-thru will be available. Reis said the company could also expand the kitchen.
Why Henry? Reis said the family had been considering expanding to a different location since around 2016.
The expansion finally came after the site’s former owner sent “an actual handwritten letter” to Sunnyland-based Ice Cream Shack. Reis said the previous owner wanted to retire and wanted someone to take over the space.
“Things just fell into place from there,” Reis said. “We like this small town atmosphere. Working with local communities, doing fundraisers for those local groups – things like that are important to us.”
A new name: After taking over the business, Reis said it needed a new name as it would not serve as a Dairy Queen franchisee. Reis said his mother and grandfather came up with the name Reisons Creamery when they first tried to open a business.
“So my tribute to Grandpa and Mom was to include the Reisons as a new name and information,” Reis said.
Reis said his mother plans to come out of semi-retirement to help manage the two businesses.
More: After 72 years, Morton’s Dairy Queen is closing as the family explores new opportunities
Season: The Ice Cream Shack of Sunnyland opened on March 4th. Reis said he expects Reisons to be open by mid-April.
Reis said the season usually lasts until October.
Sunnyland ice cream shop:
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Other ice cream parlors: The top 3 ice cream spots in the Peoria area as voted by readers