Summer’s beginning, memories of luxurious heat and the pleasure of cold ice cream springs to mind. Memories takes us back in time, one constant fixture of summer in Elk River continuously comes to mind: Shadick’s Confectionary.
Opening in 1928 and remaining on Main Street until 1954, Ernie Shadick introduced new and unusual treats to the Elk River palate, providing sweet flavored relief from summer heat. Yet, his early life in Anoka County gave no indication Ernie L. Shadick was destined to operate the sweet treat institution in Elk River.
Born in 1899 to Herbert and Bertha Shadick, he spent his early life in and around St. Francis. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War One. Discharged December 1918, after ten years in Minneapolis, he found his way to Main Street, Elk River.
|Pineapple, one of the many
unique flavors offered up at
Shadick's in 1938
Beginning in 1928, Shadick purchased and modernized the Riverside Confectionary in downtown Elk River. In 1931, the Sherburne County Star News noted the Riverside, under the ownership of Shadick kept “a large number of ice compartments full of different flavored ice cream.” The store also improved the ice cream freezers. A move that allowed even more variety of uniquely flavored ice. The newspaper noted, the new equipment manufactured “brick ice cream with fancy centers, fresh fruit ice cream, sherbets, malted milks and ices.” The machine also guaranteed production “under the most sanitary conditions.” As the company improved the store name evolved, often referred simply as Shadick’s.
Still later in his career, Ernie Shadick created a popcorn phenomenon. In 1937, he purchased a popcorn machine and proceeded to sell over four tons of popcorn in the first twelve months. Shadick’s popcorn, the newspaper claimed, “sold throughout Minnesota, and is a popular product,” found everywhere in the state.
In the 1940s, in spite of restrictions and rationing, Shadick’s Confectionary continued to offer quality treats in Elk River. The shop remained in place until 1954, when Ernie Shadick sold his enterprise. After the sale, an institution in Elk River slowly faded so that only the memories of chocolate ice cream and big bags of popcorn from Shadick’s Confectionary stir in our mind as spring heats into summer.