Casper's Garage, Avon, Ohio

The building that was Casper's Garage is located on Detroit Rd. on the east side of the Alten - Casper House (Mathias Alten Home).

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 7-19-06, By Rebecca Turman

``New ice cream shop is only a whistle and a scoop away

AVON -- Let the scooping begin! Just in time for National Ice Cream Month, Whistlers Ice Cream Shoppe in Avon will open to the public July 22 with a grand opening scheduled for sometime next week.

The shop was originally the Casper Garage, owned by the Casper family who owned what is now the Tree House as well. The garage was built in the 1930s by Ed Casper, who later became an Avon fire chief. Most recently, the building housed Avon Boat Covers. But at the end of last year, Avon residents Nick and Theresa Rak, co-owners of Whistlers, decided to buy it, renovate it and turn it into a custom ice cream shop.

"This is all us, no franchise here," Nick Rak, a full-time Avon firefighter and union president, said.

Though Rak said it would have been nice to open earlier in the summer, he isn't disappointed with the timing of the opening at all, he said.

"When you're a one man band, you're a one man band," Rak said, adding that he did most of the interior work on his own, including outfitting all of the woodwork (black walnut) throughout the shop.

"We're going to be here for awhile, so we'll catch them (customers) next spring," Rak said.

The story of how Whistlers got its name is just as unique as the old, renovated building itself. The Rak's were driving in the car on the way to meet with the architect and they had been pressured to come up with a name. Their youngest son Carl, who was 4 years old at the time, was whistling in the back seat, and the Rak's were inspired.

"He's the best whistler we know," Rak said. "We said, let's just call it Whistlers for now and change it later if we want." Like caramel syrup on a sundae, the name stuck.

Besides providing inspiration for a name, Carl, now 5, and his two other brothers, Foster, 9, and Jacob, 6 have helped out their parents along the way, Rak said.

"They have been good helpers," Rak said. "And if they weren't helping, they at least kept me entertained," he added with a chuckle.

Whistlers is the Rak's biggest business venture to date, though they have invested in real estate properties in Avon before.

Other than exclusively serving Hershey's ice cream, Whistlers will also offer hot dogs, pretzels and an extensive selection of yogurts, no-fat, low-fat and low-calorie ice cream, smoothies, milk shakes and Hershey's saucer custard.

Rak said that what sets Whistlers apart from other ice cream shops in the area is that, "We offer a premium product at a fair price. The atmosphere here is extremely relaxing. It's really nice, it's fun to be here.

Whistlers is located at 36816 Detroit Road in Avon. Store hours for the summer will be from 11:30 am - 10:30 pm weekdays and 11:30 am - 11 pm on the weekends.''

Casper's garage before Whistlers

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF AVON, OHIO, TO 1974

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