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  • Writer's pictureBe Local La Crosse


The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor has been operating for over 25 years in Downtown La Crosse at 207 Pearl Street! It's the one and only location and has been expanded upon over the years with a coffee bar and candy shop attached.

The following feature was written by Dani Peterslie.

TJ and Michelle started The Pearl back in the early 90's because they were trying to make Pearl Street more family-friendly. They were brainstorming businesses that would achieve this goal and thought what better business than ICE CREAM?! They initially opened with selling other WI-made ice cream, but as the shop became busier and busier, the demand couldn't meet the supply. TJ's father, Oscar, was concerned about having the "Homemade Ice Cream" sign in the window if they weren't making it. He set out on a quest to learn the techniques for making our own ice cream with training at UW-Madison when he was in his 80s! There he perfected his recipes that we still use today, and ever since then our ice cream has been made on-site in the Pearl's production kitchen. Oscar has since passed away, but people still come in to this day asking about the cute older gentleman that was always working at the Pearl with a smile on his face.

Look no further for an authentic experience that will allow you to truly savor a piece of history. Enjoy flavored fountain sodas, made from scratch. Thick, rich malts spun up on a Hamilton Beach, served with whipped cream, a bright red cherry and the rest of the tin. Enjoy a scoop of our homemade ice cream, including 24 flavors ranging from Mississippi Mud to classic Butter Pecan, served in a homemade waffle cone.

With a new addition in 2018, expanding our confectionery, there is even more to enjoy. Decadent handmade chocolates sold by the piece or by the pound. Up to 14 flavors of fudge, made in-house can be viewed as we make it through our candy kitchen window. And a nostalgic candy selection sure to draw some smiles from young and old alike.

"We tried to make The Pearl like an operating museum of a 1930's Soda Fountain. There were once thousands of ice cream parlors across America. Collecting and recreating the era has been a treat in itself. We hope you enjoy The Pearl and visit for years and years to come." - TJ & Michelle Peterslie, Founders of The Pearl

When we're not downtown, we love enjoying the beautiful outdoors of the La Crosse region, from boating on the Mississippi River to hiking the surrounding bluffs, the coulee region has so much to offer for outdoor recreation. We love our downtown because it has a lot to offer with all of the local businesses. We have great restaurants, coffee shops, retail, and more! The historic buildings are very unique to our downtown and are nice to see being used after all of these years.

The Pearl has been featured in over 15 publications in various outlets from Discover Wisconsin to the La Crosse Tribune. Read more about their unique story here.



Visit our website at to check out updates, ice cream menu, shipping options for homemade chocolates and much more!

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