In 1984, two visionaries adopted a concept that would change the way people enjoyed their ice cream. Theodore “Ted” Weber and Dean “Wally” Kirschenman were living in Lincoln, Nebraska when a brother of Kirschenman told him about all of the incredible homemade ice cream parlors on the East Coast. At the time, Kirschenman had recently finished college and was struggling with what to do next. After touring the Boston area, its ice cream stores and researching how they operated, he decided to give it a shot. Soon, Ted and Wally’s became a reality and has been family-owned ever since.
“The name Ted and Wally’s came from my partner’s first name, Theodore and my middle name, Wallace. Using the nicknames Ted and Wally also ties in with a popular TV show in my youth called Leave it to Beaver, the star characters being Theodore (The Beaver) and his brother Wally,” Kirschenman explains.
The building they found was an old garage, in fact, the car lift was still stored there, which Kirschenman used as a plant holder. Shortly after opening its doors, it became hugely popular in Lincoln. Two years later, it relocated to Omaha where it has remained an Old Market staple for the past 26 years. Originally placed on the infamous Howard Street, it has since moved around the corner where it proudly sits on Jackson Street. Kirschenman’s brother, Dave and business partner Julie Gilbert, ran that location for 12 years until it was sold in 2000 to Joe Pittack and his sister, Jeanne Ottira.
The pair had already worked at Ted & Wally’s and were responsible for developing the base ice cream recipe, with 18% percent butterfat — a much higher level of premium ice cream than any other local competitor. Together, they have upheld the standards Kirschenman instilled in the business since its inception — making all natural ice cream from scratch — but they have also taken Ted & Wally’s into the 21st Century by local sourcing — working with local, family-owned dairies.
New additions to the menu include sugar-free without artificial sweeteners and certified kosher options. They will even work with you to create your own ice cream flavor for special events and occasions. Flavors such as Salty Seahorse, Persian Prince, George Washington Carver and Quit Yer Job & Eat Chocolate have pushed the boundaries of ice cream flavors. The original signature flavor Honey Sesame Peanut has been widely copied.
After all, Ted and Wally’s is not your average ice cream parlor. The layout and the theme of the store are unique to Kirschenman’s vision. The antique furniture, vintage signage and outdoorsy-feel makes it more of an event than just a pit stop. Pittack has added his own touch with old-fashioned gas pumps and signage littered throughout the store. Coupled with Ted and Wally’s outstanding homemade product, satisfaction is a sure thing.
Under new leadership, Ted and Wally’s has executed over 600 different flavors of ice cream. In addition to the fundamental flavors like chocolate, vanilla or mint chocolate chip, with the help of some innovative minds, experimental flavors such as vegan cinnamon, jalapeno cream cheese or Japanese read bean have started making special appearances on their menu.
Malts, shakes, banana splits, hot fudge sundaes and a slew of other signature products gives Ted and Wally’s a well-rounded desert extravaganza.
Not only does Ted and Wally’s serve as the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth, it caters all kinds of events- from weddings to business affairs.