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Fairbury’s newest destination for frozen treats is truly a family venture.
In fact, the name even comes from a nickname for “grandpa.” Bapo’s Treats is named after Mark Hartman, who is referred to as Bapo by his grandkids.
“They simply would always say, we want to go to Bapo’s house,” recalls Hartman. “You will not find it in the dictionary, it’s just a name we created.”
The idea originated about five years ago when Hartman had an opportunity to purchase a small lot next to the All American Wash which he and his brother Grant own. Hartman ended up purchasing a small building back in November that was formerly used as a nursing home visiting area during COVID.
“Fairview Haven sold that on their silent benefit auction,” he explained.
Hartman moved the building to the current spot with no idea what to do with it. His children brainstormed and came up with an idea. Hartman’s daughter Ellie, who is a freshman in high school, was interested in running a shop on her summer break.
After plenty of conversation, the family decided to open a shaved ice and premium hard-packed ice cream stand. Helpers include Mark’s wife Judy along with Ellie, who will be there along with other students they have hired.
Grant and his wife, Amy, own part of the ice cream stand along with Mark’s oldest son Timothy and second oldest son Trevor and their wives, Jenna and Lydia.
“It’s really a family kind of project and it’s been a lot of fun and created a lot of enjoyment,” noted Hartman.
Much of the work was done by contractor David Banwart, who is Hartman’s cousin, along with the family. Trevor works professionally as a project manager, putting his skills to use for this project.
“There was a nice opportunity to use an existing building to do remodeling of a space while being able to 3-D model and work with several different companies,” explained Trevor.
Timothy enjoys the family aspect of the business.
“Trevor and I basically told them if you want us involved, we’d be more than willing to.”
The shaved ice is often referred to as a sno-cone but is entirely different.
“If you’ve never had a premium shaved ice, I think you’re in for a treat,” said Mark.
There are 36 different flavors and concoctions of premium shaved ice that customers can choose from. Meanwhile, Bapo’s has also contracted with an ice cream company and will normally carry 12-14 flavors of premium ice cream. Flavors will rotate depending on the season.
For updated schedules and hours, follow Bapo’s Treats on Facebook or visit www.bapostreats.com. They are currently open Monday through Saturday from 1-9 p.m. The business is located at 505 East Oak Street in Fairbury, along Route 24.
“When the umbrellas are up on the tables, that means we are open,” added Mark.
The vision is to bring families together and give people an opportunity to meet others and spend time together in an enjoyable atmosphere while enjoying delicious treats.