MOORHEAD — It might be something college admissions staff could bring up to potential new students: "We have excellent academic programs, of course, but did you know there's also a Tastee-Freez right across the street?"
Whether Concordia College admissions staff, back in the day, actually mentioned the Tastee-Freez, located across the street from their campus at 12th Avenue South and Eighth Street South, we'll probably never know. But they certainly couldn't after this date, May 15, in 1988 when the college ice cream shop closed for good.
The Tastee-Freez was a hot spot for students from both Concordia College and nearby Moorhead State University (now Minnesota State University Moorhead) for decades and was known as the "College Tastee-Freez."
Artist Ellen Diederich remembers that sweet spot when she attended Moorhead State in 1980.
"I remember in college I had less than a dollar to my name so I went and spent 65 cents on a hot fudge sundae. It was delicious," she says.
"The Tastee-Freez was a big Cobber landmark," says Concordia alumna Kelly Dubois-Gerchak. "I remember my roommate getting her freshman beanie stolen by some MSUM guys there. Oh, the memories!"
Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau President Charley Johnson, who attended Concordia in the late 1960s and early '70s, says he remembers stopping at Tastee-Freez every day after class.
"To this day, I think of that as the Tastee-Freez corner and the building there now as the TF building," he says.
The building Johnson mentioned is Concordia's Welcome Center, which is now located where Tastee-Freez once stood. The Welcome Center was initially called The Outreach Center and opened in the fall of 1989, just over a year after the ice cream shop closed. It's a place where the college welcomes potential new students — much the way Tastee-Freez opened its doors to weary students during finals week.
While the shop near Concordia left us in the Reagan years, Concordia and MSUM students are still pretty close to ice cream treats. The Moorhead Dairy Queen on Eighth Street and Main Avenue is just a short walk away, and there is another Tastee-Freez in Moorhead located at 410 19th St. S.
Recently, that Tastee-Freez owned by two women who grew up working there is garnering love and affection from fans around the region who don't want it go away like others in the area. (In addition to the loss of the one near Concordia, West Fargo lost a Tastee-Freez on Sheyenne Street to fire in 1996.)
As the Moorhead Tastee-Freez heads into its busiest season, it faces the challenge of being right at the heart of a huge road construction project. Realtor (and fan) Jay Nelson felt the need to encourage people not to forget the small business. His Facebook post from April 23 encouraging others to make a special visit there in the midst of construction has received 3,400 likes and been shared 2,500 times.
And it wasn't just likes and shares. Some of those who liked and shared Nelson's post made a point to stop out for a cone (or more) in the days that followed — some of them presumably college students who found the strength to walk a greater distance than across the street for their ice cream fix.