OMAHA – What do you get when you combine one of the sweetest shops in the Old Market with one of the city’s most popular food trucks?
Ted & Wally’s Benson, opening in late fall at 6023 Maple St. Brother and sister owners Joe Pittack and Jeanne Ohira plan to transform a former Mobile gas station in the heart of downtown Benson into an enhanced version of the popular downtown ice cream parlor.
Ohira began working at Ted & Wally’s in the Old Market in 1996, and Pittack joined her in 1998. In 2001, they purchased the shop from its original owners and remain dedicated to keeping the growing business local and family owned with an emphasis on quality, the customer experience and community.
“Jeanne and I are excited about becoming part of the Benson neighborhood and creating a destination for kids on bikes and families on walks and others who just want a taste of the goodness we serve up seven days a week,” Pittack said.
Pittack and Ohira purchased the Maple Street property on the southeast corner of 60th and Maple three years ago after spending time in Benson and watching it evolve into one of the city’s most popular arts and entertainment destinations. The 1,400 square foot facility, most recently home to Marcus Motors, will undergo an extensive renovation this summer, including the construction of an 800 square foot addition to the building’s south side that will house a kitchen, offices and much needed storage space.
Pittack and Ohira have hired BVH Architects to reimagine the old station with a goal of incorporating as many of the building’s original design details as is possible, including its flat roof and front wall of curved glass. The site design includes a new front patio that will be a great place to cool down on the dog days of summer. It also includes 10 new parking stalls for customers and employees.
One of the things Ohira said she’s the most excited about is the ample space that will give the Ted & Wally’s staff an opportunity to let their creativity flow in terms of dreaming up new flavors. For example, who could resist stopping by for a scoop of Quit Yer Job & Eat Chocolate on the perfect summer afternoon?
All the ice cream at Ted & Wally’s is made the old-fashioned way, slow-churned with rock salt and ice. “You’ll be able to watch it happening when you come in,” Ohira said, noting that its 18% butterfat content sets it apart from other ice creams on the market. A family recipe is used to form a base of all natural ingredients, including local dairy and eggs, and real sugar (no corn syrup here, folks).
Although the downtown and Benson Ted & Wally’s locations will share a gas-station-turned-ice-cream-parlor vibe, 6023 Maple Street will also be serving up quality street-style food via its new partnership with Localmotive, a popular food truck that embraces a farm-to-table philosophy. Its signature product is The Rounder, a sourdough dumpling stuffed with a variety of locally sourced, made from scratch ingredients.
“We’re excited to bring our brand of street food to Benson,” said Patrick Favara, who owns and operates Localmotive along with partner David Burr. “Once just a truck, Localmotive will soon be off the tracks and paired with an ideal partner in Ted & Wally’s,” he added. “We can’t wait to be part of the Benson community.”
Pittack said the Benson location will create 10 to 15 new jobs to start with the potential to grow from there. The renovation is set to begin later this month with a tentative completion date this November.
BVH Architects, a design-focused firm with studios in Omaha and Lincoln, serves a diverse group of retail, education, religious, arts, housing and civic clients. The firm is comprised of architects, planners and designers who focus on meeting client need through the creation of exceptional architecture. Services include architectural design, master planning, space planning, historic preservation and graphic design. For more information, visit www.bvh.com.