Join fellow members of the Missoula Midtown Association at the Big Dipper Ice Cream shop located at 2700 Paxson Street Suite F.
Enjoy appetizers, ice cold drinks and networking with other folks in the area by attending the September Mixer!
In June of 1995, Charlie Beaton began producing Big Dipper Ice Cream in the back of the newly opened Kettle House Brewery. A used ice cream machine, -20 degree blast freezer and quality ingredients were about all it took to make the great gourmet ice cream that people are still enjoying today. With just wholesale business in mind, Big Dipper quickly captured the wholesale market selling to restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores. Within a year, Charlie along with new wife Barbie and long-time friend Dale Bickell moved the operation to the corner of 5th and Higgins and began a retail store along with the existing wholesale business. Dale sold his shares of Big Dipper in 2002 and is now CAO of the City of Missoula.
Big Dipper became a household name in Missoula and beyond, winning Best of Missoula awards yearly as well as garnering national attention in Food and Wine, Budget Travel, USA Today and numerous other publications. In 2010 Big Dipper was recognized in USA Today as one of America’s favorite ice cream shops. In 2013 the Beaton family appeared on Good Morning America representing Big Dipper for America: Best Ice Cream Ever!
Big Dipper operations have grown as well; in 2010 Big Dipper opened its first franchise store in Helena, MT and rolled out “Coneboy”, their ice cream truck. “Coneboy” is a partnership with longtime manager, Bryan Hickey. Along with Hickey, Big Dipper has opened a kiosk in the Adams Center at the University of Montana as well as a store in Billings, Montana. Charlie started an offshoot of its brand called Big Dipper Select in 2016. Big Dipper Select is manufactured in Missoula as well as in St. George, Utah, providing ice cream supplied to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and other accounts throughout the West. Most recently Big Dipper opened its 2nd location in midtown Missoula across from the AMC theater in the summer of 2020.
The Missoula Midtown Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, enhancement, and accessibility of the midtown area as it relates to businesses, residents and the community. Its goals are to provide resources and information related to the success and growth of a healthy business community and to enhance the quality of life and quality of place for visitors and residents alike.