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Farmington business offers sweet treats, retro arcade games

Chill Ice Cream Studio is now serving sweet treats in a new remodeled ice cream parlor with a retro ‘80s arcade gaming space. Owner Chris Kulus and his children, Sophia and Isaac, will work at the family business in downtown Farmington. Kara Hildreth / Contributor

FARMINGTON — Chill Ice Cream Studio aims to become a place where guests can relax with scoops of sweet treats and serious fun playing retro arcade games.

Owners Chris and Jenny Kulus opened the ice cream parlor April 5 with a grand opening and ribbon cutting. The storefront is remodeled inside the former Cow Interrupted storefront in downtown Farmington at 408 Third St.

A bright, light blue interior looks modern with paint and icy-looking light fixtures along with a modern silver metal sign in the shape of an ice cream cone. There is a bank of cushioned, comfy booths and many tables. A retro Chill Arcade offers a blast-from-the-past 1980s arcade game experience.

This marriage could mean eating a scoop or two of Superman ice cream followed up with a game of Pac Man, or indulging with a dish of Coconut Almond Bliss ice cream before playing a few Ms. Pac Man games.

The shop changed ownership in November 2018 when the couple decided to invest in the ice cream shop after the former owners planned to close.

"We talked about it and then it was a done deal," Chris Kulus said.

Kulus said he is personally all about small business and entrepreneurship as a former president of Farmington Business Association. After years of working in IT, Kulus decided to pivot when he became an entrepreneur.

"I said there is value here and especially with ... social media," Kulus said. "He (the previous owner) had a great following and the customers very loyal. I have built some businesses based on social media so it was a great fit."

As an entrepreneur who offers coaching and operates a business-to-business consulting firm in addition to operating his own Burnsville business, Kulus looks forward to collaborating with small businesses in Farmington.

"I have a good feeling for the business community and have helped to establish relationships with the high school, different organizations and businesses, and I have already had multiple businesses reach out and say they want to collaborate," he said.

The mom and pop ice cream parlor will be a family affair and the couple's two teenage children, Sophia and Isaac will work with customers. Isaac will be in charge of the weekly arcade gaming contests on social media called "Beat Ike 4 Ice Cream."

The backroom Chill Arcade offers an entertainment venue for families to play and young people to hang out.

As a 1980s kid, Kulus began collecting arcade games as an adult and as a fun hobby. That hobby grew into an investment of time where he has restored and refurbished 25 retro arcade games in his family basement.

"These were 40-year-old machines that had smoke, pop and dirt and were hidden in barns and I found them and cleaned them up so they look brand new," Kulus said.

The Chill Arcade offers eight classic games like the popular Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Star Wars and Ms. Pac Man.

Chill Ice Cream Studio plans to be open for Dew Days and the summer car shows. The business will be open year-round and may offer a hot chocolate bar or coffee during the chilly months.

"We really just want to engage the community, sporting teams and that is our goal to give back as much as possible," Kulus said.