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In search of a successor, Clem's Cups & Cones owner in Kasson puts shop up for sale

Jay Clemens opened the ice cream shop in 2020 after retiring from a career in law enforcement. Now, he wants someone to take over what he built.

Clem's Cups and Cones
Jay Clemens, owner of Clem's Cups & Cones, is in the process of retiring and selling his business. Clemens is photographed Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, at his shop in Kasson.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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KASSON — As Jay Clemens follows his desire to move up north, he's looking to hand his Kasson ice cream shop over to a new owner.

Clem's Cups & Cones, located in the former Shopko building at 301 Mantorville Ave. S in Kasson, opened in September 2020 . Clemens' brother Brad Clemens and his business partner Pat Adamson purchased the Shopko building in May 2020 and constructed multiple tenant spaces inside — so Clemens furnished his shop from scratch.

"My goal is to sell it to somebody that keeps it up and keeps going because it's established," he said. "We did everything, planned everything and got it open and did all of that, so it's nice to do that. And we got it right now where it's running smooth."

Clemens retired as an Olmsted County deputy sheriff shortly before he opened Clem's Cups & Cones, which doles out Cedar Crest ice cream, shakes, affogatos, Dole Whips and more on a seasonal basis. He said this year he opened at the end of March and plans to close for the season around Thanksgiving.

Initially, Clemens wanted to run the business for about five years, then move up north. But now, the plan is to find a buyer within the next year. Clem's Cups & Cones will stay open in the meantime.

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"I'll re-evaluate next year and see where we're at if I don't sell it, but my plan was to keep going," he said. "I'm looking at turning it over, just kind of a turnkey operation, to somebody and let them go. ... We've got all the vendors, all the contacts, it's all established now."

This is Clemens' first time starting and running a business. His favorite part: interacting with the customers.

"Putting out a good product brings in good customers," he said. "And we're very public friendly — people like to see family establishments."

And although he's looking forward to walleye fishing in his second retirement, Clemens isn't ruling out the possibility of another business venture once he moves up north.

"I always got to do something," he said. "I'll probably go crazy if I don't find something out there. Maybe another business opportunity or something'll come up."

Dené K. Dryden is the Post Bulletin's region reporter, covering the greater Rochester area. Before joining the Post Bulletin in 2022, she attended Kansas State University and served as an editor for the student newspaper, the Kansas State Collegian, and news director for Wildcat 91.9, K-State's student radio station. Readers can reach Dené at ddryden@postbulletin.com.
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