New ice cream named for Western Illinois University

"Western Rocks!" ice cream from Whitey's Ice Cream

WIU -- MOLINE -- Whitey's Ice Cream recently unveiled its newest flavor, "Western Rocks!", in honor of Western Illinois University, at the WIU-Quad Cities Riverfront Campus' ribbon-cutting and grand opening Jan. 17.

The venture between the two entities happened after WIU-QC Development Director Gary Rowe approached Co-owners Jeff and Jon Tunberg about developing a flavor to recognize Western's 100 years of providing public higher education opportunities in the Quad Cities. It was during those conversations the men realized their connection went back nearly 60 years, starting with their fathers.

In the 1950s when Lou Rowe prepared the ice cream mix at Baker's Dairy for Bob Tunberg, the president owner of the Quad-Cities-based Whitey's Ice Cream, little did the two gentleman know that their connection would serve as the basis for a relationship between Western Illinois University and Whitey's in 2011.

"Western Rocks!", which made the cut from a taste-test of six new flavors, is a variation of Rocky Road. The ice cream has a chocolate base with a variety of chocolate-covered nuts and mini marshmallows swirled throughout. A portion of the proceeds from "Western Rocks!" will be donated to the WIU-QC Scholarship Fund.

"It was truly enjoyable to see the representatives from WIU-QC campus work as a team to end up with the new flavor and the name, 'Western Rocks!',"said Jon Tunberg, Whitey's co-owner. "I believe this shows their enthusiasm and faith in the new campus. Besides, what is more fun than developing a new flavor of ice cream?"

Whitey's Ice Cream, which has been named "Best in the Midwest" by Midwest Living magazine, was established on 16th Street and 23rd Avenue in Moline in 1933 by Chester "Whitey" Lindgren. Bob Tunberg, who was hired at Whitey's in 1935 when he was 15, and his wife, Norma, bought Whitey's in 1953. Jeff and Jon joined the business and took over the business following the death of their father in 1991.

"Whitey's makes delicious, quality ice cream and 'Western Rocks!' is no exception. We were so thrilled to work with Whitey's and so appreciative of their willingness to create and market a new flavor that showcases Western Illinois University," said Joe Rives, vice president of Quad Cities, planning and technology. "I'd like to thank Jon and Jeff and their staff for making this happen."

Whitey's Ice Cream, which is made in Moline, has stores throughout the Quad Cities and in Coralville, IA and Iowa City. The "Western Rocks!" flavor is available at all Whitey's locations.

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