The Corner Sundry serves up nostalgia one milkshake at a time


Photo: Emily Carey/The Simpsonian

by Blake Carlson, Staff Reporter

Walking into the Corner Sundry, there is always one familiar sound: The distinct “whirr” of a Hamilton Beach malt mixer.

This sound was once a norm for the sock-hopping teenagers of the ‘50s and was still a Friday night favorite for the pinball wizards of the ‘80s.

But for today’s teens, it is not about malts and milkshakes anymore.

In a time when America’s kids are switching from fast food to Whole Foods, snack bars like the Corner Sundry are becoming harder to find.

“We have been around for about 69 years,” server Josie Schettler said as she pointed at the date on the vintage Pepsi Cola menu board behind her.

The Corner Sundry, located at 101 N. Buxton Street, is a pillar of the Indianola downtown square. The nostalgic snack bar serves everything from hard scoop ice cream to homemade coffees and sodas. You can even walk up to the drug store-style counter and pick out old-fashioned candy from under the glass.

One of Schettler’s favorites is the Blue Bunny Superman ice cream flavor.

“It is something I have never seen anywhere else,” Schettler said. To serve this flavor, a location must be an exclusive Blue Bunny ice cream shop. The Sundry happens to be one of few in the Indianola area.

It is not just Generation X and baby boomers sitting at the soda counter reminiscing to the old jukebox tunes; traffic from all ages passes through the Sundry door.

“It is a whole spectrum, we get a lot of those older people, but we see a lot of young people too,” Schettler said.

Need proof that the Corner Sundry has been a mainstay in people’s lives for over half a century?

Log on to their Facebook page, and read the stream of reviews from generations of Indianola teens who grew up at the Corner; many now bring their children and grandchildren to experience what they did growing up.

The Corner Sundry is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.