Belleville landmark makes major change: White Cottage is sold

News-DemocratAugust 28, 2013 

— The decades-old White Cottage ice cream stand and restaurant will stay in the family.

Owners Tom and Dede Cordie have sold the business at 102 Lebanon Ave. to their son Chris Cordie, who will take over next season. The couple announced their plans to sell in June.

"We're glad about it," Dede Cordie said. "So it stays in the family."

Chris Cordie said he could not disclose the selling price at this point as property has yet to be appraised before the deal is completed. The 31-year-old said the business has been a part of his family for most of his life. He started working there when his parents bought the business back in October 2008.

"When they bought this back, they asked me if I wanted to come in and work with them," Chris Cordie said. "I thought it was a good opportunity."

White Cottage has been serving ice cream in Belleville's Lebanon Avenue neighborhood for the past 60 years. The Cordies initially bought the business around 1978 and owned it until they sold it in 2001. The Cordies also ran another White Cottage off South 74th Street from about 1979 to 1990 and then another at 5326 N. Illinois St. in Fairview Heights until about 1993.

White Cottage makes homemade hard and soft ice cream, sugar-free ice cream, concretes, shakes, malts, freezes, floats, ice cream sodas and sundaes. The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs and fries.

Chris Cordie said his parents will remain at the restaurant next season, but will scale back their hours.

"Hopefully my mom's hours are really cut by a lot, but my father will still be here making the ice cream for the majority of next year as he teaches me the ropes," Chris Cordie said. "That was the one thing that I never learned, the ice cream-making part."

Chris said the business has been his family's life and he looks forward to taking over. Over the years, he has met so many people whose families have been coming in for generations.

"It's a big icon in Belleville," he said. "People love it. When they saw it was for sale, you wouldn't have believed how many people came in. It was our biggest day of the year when they put that in the paper because everybody thought we were closing."

White Cottage will close for the season after business on Sept. 22 and reopen sometime in early March.

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 239-2526.

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