Few quick-service brands can say they’ve stood the test of time like Abbott’s Frozen Custard. The brand was founded in 1902 by Arthur Abbott, who traveled with his custard stand up and down the eastern seaboard, serving up his secret recipe at small carnivals. Later, Abbott settled down and brought his custard with him to Rochester, New York, where the brand is still headquartered.
The brand’s foundational menu item is still the frozen custard that Abbott created more than 100 years ago, but menu innovations over the years mean that Abbott’s now offers an array of options. The menu starts with a rotating and ever-expanding lineup of eight daily flavors of frozen custard churned fresh in each stand throughout the day. These daily flavors are the foundation of each classic treat on the menu, including cones, sundae, milkshakes, frozen custard cakes, pies and everything in between.
In 1957, Thelma and Leonard Schreiber purchased Abbott’s and ran the business with their daughters until the 1990s. They then passed the brand and all its traditions—including the secret family recipe—on to their daughter, Gail, who remains actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Over the past several years, the family-owned company has worked hard to successfully scale via franchising. To that end, Abbott’s has built a management team from the inside out, leveraging the insight that comes from an executive leadership team with decades of experience within the brand. This has allowed Abbott’s to support 37 stands located across seven states, with more than 100 stands in the development pipeline.
“It’s amazing to see the most recent additions to our franchise family take so much pride in the role they play in driving our brand’s legacy,” says Brenden Drew, vice president of business development with Abbott’s Frozen Custard. “They value the rich history and leverage our system’s processes. That gives our franchisees and their guests the confidence that this is not a passing fad but a brand that has stood the test of time—or, better said, the taste of time.”
One thing that Drew says continues to separate Abbott’s from other franchise opportunities is the family spirit that remains a guiding principle. In fact, many of Abbott’s new franchisees have made it a family affair themselves, with all the members of their own families participating in the operations. When franchisees commit to open an Abbott’s stand, they receive a “welcome to the family” call from Abbott’s ownership. In addition, franchisees receive familial-like support throughout the development process and beyond. “The Abbott’s approach is contagious,” Drew says, “and continues to snowball as the brand expands.”
Abbott’s continues to develop its menu, leveraging LTOs to drive new and repeat business. This summer, the brand is rolling out four limited-time milkshakes, including flavors like the Chocolate Cloud, Pina Colada, PB&J, and Raspberry Truffle. These new milkshake flavors will be available in limited edition collectible mason jar mugs. In addition, Abbott’s continues to push its frozen custard cakes and pies portfolio—the perfect treat for any occasion.
The menu, the excitement, and the overall guest experience of Abbott’s is attracting a lot of attention—which is why Abbott’s “continues to attract top-tier franchisees,” Drew says. “Some of our more recent franchisees bring with them decades of industry experience, operating multiple locations for both national and international brands. We’re flattered that they would select Abbott’s and it says we’re definitely doing something right here.”
“One of our more recent owners said to us, ‘I feel like I am getting in on the ground floor of something that is about to take off,’” Drew continued. “We couldn’t agree more. While Abbott’s has been making people happy—or should we say ‘Happily Ever After,’ our brand’s newly trademarked tagline—for more than 100 years, the momentum we have built over the last five years is starting to pay huge dividends for the brand moving forward. It is truly an exciting time to be part of this storybook franchise.”
For more on franchising with Abbott’s Frozen Custard, visit the company’s franchising page.