Chester Lindgren opened the first store on the corner of 16th Street and 23rd Avenue in Moline, IL. He was nicknamed "Whitey" due to his white-blonde colored hair. In 1935 Lindgren hired 15 year old Bob Tunberg, who worked for him through out high school and several years after. In 1953 Lindgren sold the store to Tunberg.
Tunberg and his wife, Norma, made ice cream during the day, and sold their product in the store at night. In 1977 the business was expanded when a second store opened in Moline, IL. After the success of this second store as well as the addition of several more Illinois stores the first Iowa store was opened in 1984 in Bettendorf, IA.
Whitey's Ice Cream is currently owned by Bob Tunberg's sons, Jeff and Jon Tunberg. They currently operate nine locations in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities, as well as stores in Iowa City, IA and Coralville, IA. They also maintain a retail stand at the i wireless Center during sporting events. Customers may also order the ice cream from Whitey's website, where it can be shipped anywhere in the continental United States.
Whitey's Ice Cream is known for their extra thick shakes and malts which can be held upside down. This is due to their innovation of high powered malt machines. They also credit themselves with the creation of candy bar shakes and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. They also worked to develop a "No Sugar Added" ice cream sweetened with Splenda brand sweetener targeted toward diabetics.
Whitey's Ice Cream has been called the "Best in the Midwest" by readers of the Midwest Living Magazine. It has also been featured on the Food Network's Food Finds television show. In 2007 Whitey's Ice Cream was announced as the winner of the Fourth Annual Ice Cream Store of the Year Award known as THE PASSION AWARD given by the Ice Cream University.