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Nothing says summer like a little creamy whip. [Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto]

This West Side Creamy Whip Has Your Name All Over It.

Cincinnati's West Side is known for having the area's largest number of creamy whips per capita, with each spot bringing its own unique flare and history. Among the most colorful is that of Cone Zone, a neighborhood favorite built from courage, second chances, and a recipe for a distinct soft serve.

Founded in 1985, the shop was initially known as Tummy Treats. Sounding a bit too similar to children's vitamins (at least in our opinion), it was eventually acquired by town notables, the Keller family. Yep, Keller as in Sam Keller, longtime mayor of Cheviot.

The sweet shop evolved into Keller's Cone Zone, with locals referring to it simply by the surname. As time passed, though, Cone Zone transitioned between owners and eventually fell on hard times.

Enter Mike Sweeney. Recently laid off from his construction job, Sweeney and his wife Mindy took a chance on the struggling ice creamery. Recognizing that the institution represented fond summertime & childhood memories for loads of Chevioteers, the Sweeneys scooped up Cone Zone and gave it a new flavor.

After the couple dove into the business, it became clear that location was key. The longstanding landmark needed to move.

A mere 200 feet west was all it took. With Mike putting his construction skills to work (and friends & community members pitching in along the way), the Sweeneys built a new Cone Zone. The site? A plot of land near the busy, easily accessible fork of Harrison & Bridgetown Roads (two major arteries of the West Side).

The structure is simple, with practicality trumping aesthetic. There's a bright purple barn, ample parking, and a drive-thru, plus green space with a picnic area. Inside the barn, homemade tables and counters are decorated with pictures of Cincinnati and ice cream history. A concrete floor makes for easy clean up of wayward sprinkles; just take a hose to it!

& Let's not forget the menu! You'll find all your favorite treats here: blizzards, dip tops, sundaes, and slushies. Fresh-made waffle cones make for a true (& slightly decadent) summertime delight.

Other notable offerings include the Dole Whip, a dairy-free alternative soft serve that comes in rotating flavors (orange and pineapple). Looking for lighter fare? Try the salted caramel frozen yogurt.

More than five years into the adventure, business is booming for the Sweeney family. And the Cone Zone has a new lease on life. (A cherry on top for this happy-ending story.)

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Want to learn more about Cone Zone? Check out the shop's website, swing by the Facebook page, or head over in person (4101 Harrison Avenue, 45211).