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  • Writer's pictureCamp Nisswa

Discover the Delightful Duo of Northern Gifts & Sweets and Glen's Ice Cream Parlor in Nisswa, MN

Prepare to embark on a delightful journey as we delve into the captivating world of Northern Gifts & Sweets and Glen's Ice Cream Parlor. Two enchanting establishments nestled in the heart of downtown Nisswa, Minnesota. Situated next to the beloved Nisswa Turtle Race Track, these unique shops have garnered a reputation for being a must-visit destination for both locals and visitors alike.

Northern Gifts & Sweets: A Wonderland of Delights

Once you set foot in Nisswa, it's impossible to miss the captivating presence of Northern Gifts & Sweets. The store's intriguing A-frame cabin entrance, adorned with the stars and stripes of the American flag and a welcoming open flag, beckons you to explore the wonders within. As you approach, your eyes will be drawn to a majestic giant turtle, perched upon a wooden podium, cheerfully greeting every visitor.

A conversation with Tammy, one of the owners, revealed that Northern Gifts & Sweets opened its doors in 2020. Prior to this venture, the owners successfully operated a personalized custom laser engraving store called Lasered By The Heart, conveniently located just two doors down. When the opportunity arose to acquire their current location, they eagerly seized it, driven by their dream to create a remarkable destination that would captivate both locals and visitors alike.

Stepping into Northern Gifts & Sweets, you'll find yourself immersed in a candy lover's paradise. Rows upon rows of colorful confections, a mesmerizing saltwater taffy wall, delectable chocolates, tantalizing treats, and an assortment of fudge flavors await your discovery. It's a haven for children to get lost in, while adults find themselves transported back to the nostalgic candies of their own childhood. As you explore the store, be sure not to miss the fudge counter, boasting over 20 mouthwatering flavors and an array of other tempting treats. Tammy proudly shared that if they don't have the candy you're searching for, she will go above and beyond to source it for you.

Moreover, Northern Gifts & Sweets proudly showcases a wide range of locally inspired clothing, home goods, ornaments, games, puzzles, toys, and other delightful items suitable for all ages. Their commitment to supporting the local community and embracing the essence of Minnesota is evident throughout the store.

Glen's Ice Cream Parlor: A Journey Back in Time

Connected to Northern Gifts & Sweets is Glen's Ice Cream Parlor, a charming establishment that instantly transports you to a bygone era. Our conversation with Glen, the creator of this nostalgic gem, painted a vivid picture of his own childhood memories in Mora, MN. He fondly recalled the traditions of his hometown, where two drug store soda fountains, Upper and Lower Hall Drug, an ice cream shop known as the "Scoop Shop," and a small drive-in called "The Mug" played prominent roles. These cherished memories, forever etched in his mind, were filled with the tantalizing aromas and delectable flavors of ice cream. Glen's lifelong dream was to create a place of his own that would capture the essence of those cherished times. Although the cost of refurbishing an old Bastian Blessing Cabinet proved cost prohibitive, Glen remained undeterred, driven by his desire to create an authentic old-fashioned ice cream parlor.

Undeterred by the challenges, Glen embarked on a journey to design and build the charming ice cream parlor you see today. He humorously shared that laying the tiny 6x6 tiles during the scorching July heat was no easy task, but the end result was unquestionably worth it. The project was completed in a remarkable four weeks, and on August 27, 2021, Glen's Ice Cream Parlor opened its doors. Looking upon his creation, Glen feels immense pride and satisfaction, knowing that it will become a cherished place for generations to come.

Choosing the name for his ice cream parlor was a decision that initially posed a challenge for Glen. As a modest and humble individual, he was hesitant to put himself at the forefront. However, after seeking the opinions of friends and loved ones, it became clear that "Glen's Ice Cream Parlor" was the perfect choice. It pays homage to his vision and encapsulates the spirit of a bygone era, evoking nostalgia and fond memories.

Glen's Ice Cream Parlor | Nisswa, MN

Irresistible Ice Cream Delights:

At Glen's Ice Cream Parlor, indulgence awaits in the form of over 30 delightful ice cream flavors. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a classic cone, the decadence of a sundae, the creaminess of a malt, or the timeless pleasure of a classic bowl of ice cream, Glen's offers a myriad of options to cater to every palate and preference.

Giving Back to the Community:

In addition to providing a haven of sweet treats, Glen and Tammy are deeply committed to giving back to their community. They regularly organize events that support local nonprofits, allowing them to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Two notable organizations they support are the Pohl Children's Foundation and the Mounted Eagles. The Pohl Children's Foundation is dedicated to providing support and services to families who have experienced the loss of a child or parent. It also strives to offer quality-of-life experiences to children battling life-threatening illnesses, while simultaneously providing support to their entire families. Recently, this past winter Tammy and Glen orchestrated a heartwarming initiative as Glen's Ice Cream Parlor prepared for a temporary closure in December 2022 due to remodeling. Faced with the challenge of disposing of over 30 buckets of ice cream, they decided to turn it into an opportunity to give back. Together, they launched a fundraiser where every penny earned from ice cream sales during the closure was generously donated directly to the Pohl Children's Foundation. Their thoughtful action ensured that the community's support was channeled directly towards this worthy cause.

The Mounted Eagles is an organization that specializes in therapeutic horsemanship for individuals with disabilities. Their mission is to enhance the lives of participants, volunteers, and the community through therapeutic, developmental, and educational equine-assisted activities.

Another noteworthy event hosted by Glen's and Tammy's establishments was the Cops and Cones fundraiser, held at the beginning of summer. This event raised funds for both the Pohl Children's Foundation and the Nisswa Police Department. On June 15, kids aged 12 and under were treated to a small free ice cream, and both on-duty and off-duty police officers joyfully indulged as well. Adding excitement to the occasion, an entertaining ice cream eating contest took place, featuring Nisswa's beloved K9 Shuri.

With a passionate commitment to their community, Tammy and Glen aspire to continuously expand their offerings, hosting more events and engaging activities to give back. They envision a place that children of today will remember fondly and eagerly return to, ultimately sharing the experience with their own children in the future.


For an unforgettable experience in the Nisswa Lakes Area, a visit to Northern Gifts & Sweets and Glen's Ice Cream Parlor is an absolute must. Whether you're a local seeking to support your community or a visitor eager to explore the wonders of Nisswa, these enchanting establishments are waiting to welcome you. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in a wonderland of delightful treats and embrace the nostalgic charm of Glen's Ice Cream Parlor. From whimsical candies to tantalizing ice cream flavors, these destinations will leave you with cherished memories and a desire to return time and time again.

Northern Gifts & Sweets & Glen's Ice Cream Parlor



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