Find your frozen favorites at Shelby Raes


Shelby Raes was at the Rock Falls Riverfront at RB&W park. Shelby Rae’s is at many different locations, in addition to its normal location at Northland Mall.

 Shelby Raes is Sterling’s very own custard, gelati, and an Italian ice shop on wheels. Owned by the Thueson family, Shelby Raes opened on September 7, 2021. 

  While they are able to travel throughout the area, their main location is at the Northland Mall. They also visit CGH, Rock Falls RiverFront, and WAHL. In addition to their traditional locations, they attend specific events such as Morrison’s “Paint the Town” and Sterling High School sporting events. 

 Employees are Ben Boze, Liam Gardner, Marisa Salmon, and myself, with help from Caden Thueson as needed. During big events, Caden’s parents, Jennifer and Eric Thueson, also assist. 

 Although it is an Italian ice and custard shop, it is much more than that. Jennifer Thueson said, “When thinking of a catchphrase for the business, we remembered a phrase that my dad always used to say, “Is this livin’ or what!” We want our customers to have a great experience every time they visit Shelby Raes, and think “Is this Livin’ or What!”

 During a cross country meet on Sept. 24, 2022, Shelby Raes served over 400 people. Shelby Raes was also invited to be at the homecoming picnic at the high school. As soon as people saw Shelby Raes, many came rushing over. Thankfully, Shelby Raes was prepared and had every worker in the trailer that day. 

  2022 graduate Marisa Salmon said, “During the event it was really interesting and exciting bringing something new to the school during homecoming week. Closer to the end, it got slightly stressful due to the lack of time we had to serve everyone. Besides that, it was a great time and I enjoyed visiting the high school again.”

 Many small businesses struggle with getting people to come out and buy their products. Shelby Rae’s hours can be found on Facebook and Instagram. They officially closed their season on Oct. 8, 2022, after the XC meet that Saturday. 

  Word of mouth has been a huge part of the success for Shelby Raes, as new people hear about Shelby Raes from their own advertisements or friends’ recommendations. 

  With the cold winter months around the corner, we will all have to wait until spring to taste our favorite Italian ice again.