VERSAILLES — Alice’s Dairy Bar here is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Owner Alice Hinman isn’t its first owner but probably had it longer than the others.
“Vernie Winner and Ed DeLaet built it,” said Hinman, the former Alice Marshall. “I was working at the Sweet Shop at the time, and Ralph Chappie always came in. The business was closed a month, and he asked me if I’d run things. I ran it for a year for him, and then he wanted to lease it. I did that for nine years and then bought it in 1999.”
A big help for Hinman the last 25 years is her daughter, Jeanne Phlipot. While Alice is busy preparing the meals that are ordered any given day, Jeanne is taking care of the front part of the shop, taking orders and serving customers at the window or at the drive-thru.
Older son, Denis, never got involved in the business, but youngest son, Donnie, started working there when he was 12 and now he’s an executive at Frisch’s.
Jeanne’s son, Josh McGhee, now 27, came to work everyday with his mother and grandmother. Now, he’s married and has two little girls.
Both women had worked at Brown’s Sweet Shop, and Jeanne still does.
Hinman said the ice cream business hasn’t really changed over the years.
“We added more to the food line and put in a French fryer,” said Hinman, who said much of their sales is the ice cream, including what they call their famous blue raspberry ice cream. “Our top seller is our ice cream and cyclones.”
She said in observance of their silver anniversary, they held customer appreciation days in June with $2 specials.
“Weaver’s (employees) eat here everyday,” Hinman said. “They are so good to me. I couldn’t do it without Jeanne, and I wouldn’t be here if not were not for my customers. I thank them everyday.”
Alice’s Dairy Bar is open from the end of February through mid-September each year.
Hinman, whose family moved to the Versailles area in 1954 so that her father could continue farming, said she plans on keeping the business going.
“We love it,” Hinman said. “We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t.”