In 1866, as America recovered from the Civil War, William A. Breyer of Philadelphia hand-cranked his first gallon of ice cream. It was a special ice-cream consisting of rich cream, pure cane sugar, fresh fruits, nuts and other flavors – some of the very same ingredients used today. He sold it to his neighbors with the promise that his ice cream was made with the finest ingredients. Word spread quickly, and Breyers® Ice Cream was soon declared Philadelphia’s best.
Breyer opened his first retail ice cream shop in 1882. Within a short time he and his family opened four more shops. Breyer continued to make all of the ice cream in the back of one of the shops, cranking it by hand and delivering it with his horse-drawn wagon.
In 1896, 30 years after Breyer made his first gallon of ice cream, his family set up its first wholesale manufacturing plant. Breyer’s son, Henry, incorporated the business in 1908 and continued his father’s commitment to produce high quality ice cream.
By 1918, Breyers® Ice Cream Company was producing more than a million gallons of ice cream a year and shipping it to New York City and Staten Island, New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. In 1926, Breyers® Ice Cream Company became a division of the National Dairy Products Corporation (NDPC), a growing organization of well-known brands.
In 1993, Unilever bought Breyers® Ice Cream from Kraft and made it part of the Gold Bond–Good Humor Ice Cream Company in Green Bay, Wisconsin, renaming the company the Good Humor- Breyers® Ice Cream Company. Today, Unilever continues to own and manage Breyers® and is based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.