When Arthur Abbott, who founded Abbott’s Frozen Custard in 1902, wanted to retire, he looked for someone who would feel passionate about the business the way he did—someone who loved Rochester, New York, who worked hard, and would appreciate the customers and the quality of Abbott’s Frozen Custard.
At the same time, Leonard and Thelma Schreiber, born and raised in Rochester, were looking for a business. They understood how much Abbott’s meant to the community and realized what a fantastic opportunity they had. In 1957, the Schreiber’s took the reins at Abbott’s when their daughter, now second-generation owner, Gail Drew, was just 10 years old.
Drew’s first job was counting pennies every evening before moving up the ladder to clean the counters inside and out. When she finally started to scoop, it had to be just right. “My mother always said, ‘you eat with your eyes,’ so, it had to look as beautiful as it was delicious,” she says. That signature “Abbott’s” scoop remains critical to Abbott’s success today.
“Abbott’s kept my family together,” Drew says. “We spent every night talking about the business, how the day went, and what we would do tomorrow.” This made her decision to take over the family business that much easier. “I knew it was my responsibility to continue the Abbott’s legacy,” Drew continued.https://www.abbottsfranchise.com
FUTURE LOCATIONS SIGNED: More than 100
FRANCHISE FEE: $37,000
TOTAL START-UP COSTS: $450,000–$1,200,000
Family is also why franchisees choose Abbott’s. “Most of them have families, and they want to build a family legacy. They also want to build something that connects their family to the community,” Drew says.
After more than a decade of advising clients at one of the world’s largest consulting firms, Gail’s only son Brenden Drew, now vice president of business development, rejoined the family business to lead Abbott’s expansion. It seemed to be the perfect fit—a family member working with franchisee families across the country.
Since the start of the franchise initiative, Abbott’s has treated their franchisees as if they were part of the family. Gail Drew actually calls new franchisees and welcomes them to the family. “We call them owners not franchisees,” Brenden Drew says. “Franchisees is a term used in corporate America. Nothing against that, but at Abbott’s, you’re part of the family, and that’s how we treat you.”
Abbott’s goal is to be the place where people go to celebrate after a special occasion or event. After the school concert, after the game, after the picnic, after a first date. It’s the foundation for the brand’s newly launched tagline, “Happily Ever After.”
“Happily Ever After” works on several levels. It usually signals the end of a fairy tale or the next chapter in a story. Abbott’s has a wonderful story to tell: its storied history, the family legacy it fosters, and the traditions it preserves. That’s what Abbott’s is all about, and that’s the promise to current and future Abbott’s owners.
To learn more, visit abbottsfranchise.com.