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Tip Top’s latest scoop: New owners

The Tip Top Dairy Bar in Osakis was recently purchased by Brad and Kristie Kirckof of Sauk Centre. The iconic Osakis restaurant opened on April 2 and will stay open through at least the month of September. (Celeste Edenloff / Osakis Review)

Brad and Kristie Kirckof have two goals in mind: To keep everything the same and to continue the tradition started in 1955 by Norman Hansen to provide the Osakis area with “the best quality food at fair prices in a pleasant family-friendly atmosphere.”

The Kirckofs, who live in Sauk Centre, said they are truly excited about this next chapter in their lives – as the new owners of the Tip Top Dairy Bar, an iconic business on West Nokomis Street in Osakis for more than 60 years.

“Timing is everything,” said Brad Kirckof, who served as the mayor of Sauk Centre from 2006-2014 and is now chairman of the Sauk Centre School Board. “My wife heard the Tip Top was for sale from her beautician.”

Kristie said the business had not even been listed yet when she found out it was for sale, and knowing that piqued her interest.

The Kirckofs say they have enjoyed coming to the Tip Top for years and knew of its great reputation. Last June, they started conversations about buying the business with the former owners, Bernice Kostrzewski and her son, Kyle. By September, they knew they were going to buy the business and said they helped the Kostrzewskis close it up for the winter.

The Tip Top Dairy Bar is only open about six months of the year, from April through September.

The decision to purchase it, according to Brad, was because of the products, the staff and the community.

“You can’t find a friendlier, more pleasant place and the products are awesome. The best in the state,” he said. “It was a perfect fit for us.”

Brad and Kristie praised the Kostrzewski family for all that they did the past 10 years and they hope to continue their tradition. This new venture, they said, will allow their own family to spend more time together. Their 15-year-old son, Matthew, will be one of the 24 employees on staff.

Many of the same employees, they said, have come back and will be working this season with them, for which they are very grateful.

“We’ve had to add a few new ones as some of last year’s staff have moved on, but we have a really great staff who have helped us and are teaching us how to do things,” said Brad.

The Tip Top Dairy Bar opened on April 2 and since then, even though it’s only been about a week, Brad and Kristie said they are thankful for the Osakis community.

“The locals are very supportive and have accepted us with open arms,” said Brad. “From the city to the businesses to the community members, it’s been just great.”

The Kirckofs said they don’t plan on making any changes to the business. The hours will remain the same – they are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Memorial Day and then from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Labor Day, when the hours go back to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The plan is to be open through September, but depending on the weather, the Kirckofs said they might stay open longer.

The menu won’t see any changes either, they said.

“We’ll be providing the same great products as before,” said Kristie. “Our goal is to keep everything the same.”

And even though the family lives in Sauk Centre, Brad said, “Our hearts, our business, is now in Osakis. This is a local business that has been here since 1955 and we hope to carry on its tradition.”

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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