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Our Story

“Ice cream is my life.” – Earle Swensen

In 1948, Earle Swensen, who learned to make ice cream while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, opened his first Ice Cream Shoppe at the corner of Union and Hyde along the cable car tracks in San Francisco, California.  Earle knew he could succeed if he gave his customers three things… quality, quantity, and value for their money.  By good old-fashioned trial and error, Earle developed a perfect blend of the finest ingredients and ice cream making technique to deliver an extraordinary taste of every flavor.  He started with serving his all-time favorite flavor, Vanilla, then created over 150 flavors, which were marketed as “Good as Father Used to Make”.

Decades later with over 300 flavors created, Earle would have been proud of the worldwide recognition Swensen’s® continues to enjoy today.   The Swensen’s® name is synonymous with extraordinary delicious signature ice cream flavors from Swiss Orange Chip™, Sticky Chewy Chocolate, Strawberry Cheesecake, to our international favorites; Durian and Matcha Green Tea.

Swensen’s® is also known for the Ultimate Sundae Experience featuring some of the best creations the world has ever known; our Signature Sundaes, Bake Shoppe Sundaes, Super Fantasy Supreme Sundaes, The Earthquake, and our Cable Carfaits™ to name a few.

Over the years, Swensen’s® has becoming the go to venue for family get together and social gatherings, which demands for a more diverse menu to include American and local favorite foods.  Gourmet burgers, Olde San Francisco sourdough sandwiches, Fresh green salads and authentic regional dishes are now served at Swensen’s® Grill & Ice Cream.

Today, Swensen’s® is served in over 350 locations around the world, with Earle’s founding principles of quality, quantity and value for money still embody the brand and the business.