Sometime during the year you can probably find your favorite ice cream flavor at Baskin-Robbins in Keizer. Unless your favorite flavor is licorice. Baskin-Robbins doesn’t offer the black flavor anymore; it affects the flavors coming after it in the manufacturing process.
Keizerites John and Tina Lottis closed the Keizer ice cream store in March to remodel for the first time in years. “The plumbing was 35 years old,” said Lottis.
Customers will not notice the new plumbing but they’ll see the new furnishings, new paneling and new menu boards, all an update from the corporate office.
Baskin-Robbins, a franchiser, boasts over 5,800 stores throughout the world. The local franchiser is Alpenrose Dairy of Portland, so the ice cream for the Keizer store is made just up the road using corporate recipes.
Though it’s a franchise, the Keizer store is a Lottis family business. One of their daughters, Kristy, used to manage the Keizer and Lancaster Drive stores. Son Coe has worked for the stores in the past.
Coe is now living in Portland and Kristy is raising her family here in Keizer. These days John’s sister-in-law works there and his brother-in-law helps out as needed while his father does all the maintenance.
The Lottis family didn’t start out in ice cream. For years the family owned Valley Welding Supply in Salem.
The Lottis children, though in their 20s, still come to one of the stores for a taste of the family product.
“They love ice cream,” said John.
So does John, whose favorite flavor is World Class Chocolate made with white and dark chocolates.
John and Tina Lottis owned three stores in the past but now they only have the Keizer store [MAP: 8] and the Lancaster Drive store in Salem.