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Our Town: ‘Dari Barn’ serves as a tradition for Grinnell’s residents, past and present

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:35 PM CDT
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GRINNELL, Iowa (KCRG) - Many of the businesses in Our Town Grinnell are staples to everyone in the community.

On 6th Avenue, just east of downtown Grinnell, you’ll find the Dari Barn. It makes a quick way to get a treat and cool off.

It’s been around since at least the early 1970s. Ginette McFarland kept it in the family when she bought it from her aunt and uncle in 2012.

“We know from looking at other ice cream places and even across the U.S. that this is something that is very different and it’s something that used to be a lot more of,” McFarland said. “So, it’s unique and something you don’t find a lot of places. It’s fun.”

There’s something for everyone at the Dari Barn. It’s become a tradition in town, for those who live there and for those who are just passing through.

“We never leave town without stopping here, they’ve got awesome ice cream,” said Shelly Spurlin who was visiting Grinnell with her granddaughter. “When I was pregnant, I used to stop here all the time, too, when I had a doctor’s appointment. It’s one of the things I could look forward to.”

McFarland and General Traci Smith say students from Grinnell College are a large part of their clientele. They’re thankful the community has stepped up to support them during COVID-19 when students aren’t on campus.

“The loss of that this spring was really different,” McFarland said. “We’re used to seeing big throngs of college kids walking up the road. They just come from campus and walk, and it’s always fun to see them so we miss them but we hope, someday, we’ll get back to normal.”

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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