'Every Day's A Sundae' to Celebrate its 20th Anniversary this Month
Downtown ice cream shop to throw party for its 20th anniversary on August 13.
In 1987 the Urban family planted the seed that would eventually grow into Every Day's a Sundae by selling ice cream cones at various local festivals. Five years later they opened up a storefront, and now, 20 years later, they're throwing a party to celebrate being a part of the downtown Downers Grove landscape year-in and year-out for two decades.
On August 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the downtown ice cream staple is going to offer its customers 20 percent discounts, entertainment, giveaways and more. Music will be performed by members of the Downers Grove North marching band and the Downers Grove Fire Department will bring one of its engines down.
Additionally, the Urban family—Stan and Diane, along with their daughters and partners Anastasia and Amanda—have sent out invitations to their former employees, trying to get as many of the nearly 450 past employees as they can to come back and receive an honorary name tag and take part in a family photo.
“It's a family,” Stan Urban said. “We've had two separate marriages come form past coworkers that have gotten married and had kids.”
Stan and Diane got started in the ice cream business when they owned a concession company that sold items at festivals, including Sherman's Ice Cream. At the same time, Stan owned a distribution company that sold waffle cones and other items. The Urban's family also owned blueberry and raspberry farms, so Stan and Diane started combining all of the ingredients they had available to them to make ice cream cones that they sold at area festivals.
Downers Grove residents especially “went crazy” for the treats and in 1992 members of the village staff approached the Urbans during a Downers Grove festival and suggested they open a shop. Stan and Diane liked a challenge so they opened up Every Day's a Sundae three months later. Twenty years and three addresses later, they're still downtown, selling Sherman's Ice Cream in at least 45 different flavors, just as they did when they started.
So what has changed downtown since Every Day's a Sundae opened in 1992? When the store initially opened where Capri of Downers Grove is located, the downtown area looked nothing like it does today, Stan said. Many of the stores were closed by 5:00 p.m. and options for diners were limited.
“It's much busier, much more congested, which I look at as a plus,” Stan said. “I'd rather have the issues we have than be Gary, Indiana. It's more vibrant and there are a number of different food establishments. When we opened [the only option] was Mike's Restaurant on Main.”
As the downtown area changed over the years, aspects of Every Day's a Sundae did as well. In addition to occupying two different downtown locations before settling in where they are now, The Urbans also opened a cafe in the Main Street station in 1993. Three years later, after having sold the cafe, Stan started selling hot dogs out of a hot dog cart in front of the ice cream store.
“We had 'Wiener Wednesday' when hot dogs were a dollar, and my wife used to yell at me about my lines being longer than hers,” Stan said.
While side-businesses came and went, the core business of Every Day's a Sundae remained the same, which has been one of the main reasons for the store's longevity. The core business model, according to Stan, has been to serve a good product and offer good service, which is largely the work of Diane Urban.
“Behind every great man is a better woman,” Stan said. “She is the success because she puts in the hours and the staff respect her.”
Of course, it also helps to form partnerships, and Stan said the Village of Downers Grove has been integral to the long-lasting appeal of Every Day's a Sundae.
“We had product and service, but needed people,” Stan said. “Through its community events, the village has literally put 100,000 people in front of our store. We've had to spend virtually no money on marketing because of the people they bring downtown. The village is my silent partner.”