Our History

Frozen custard has been around for a while. Just how long depends on who you ask. The use of egg yolks in frozen cream dates back to the 1690s, but the most famous origin story takes place in 1919 in Coney Island, New York. Two ice cream vendors found that adding egg yolks to ice cream created a smoother texture and helped the product stay cold longer.

Less than 15 years later, at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, frozen custard was introduced to a broader audience and it is here that many believe the Midwest began its infatuation with the creamy indulgence. Can you imagine a young Paul M. Gilles discovering frozen custard at the World’s Fair? It may have even inspired him to open his now famous Gilles Frozen Custard Stand in Milwaukee, Wisconsin just a few years later in 1938. It stands today as the oldest custard stand in Milwaukee and one of the first in the country. Our heritage is strongly connected to Paul M. Gilles and his original custard stand. In 1972, after selling limited quantities of the custard at a local supermarket, Paul Gilles sold the rights to manufacture and distribute the packaged custard bearing his name. 


For years, our Gilles Frozen Custard products have been available in the Wisconsin area in three classic flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. While perfectly delicious, today’s consumers have asked for more. Our team went to work researching, developing, and tasting, a whole new line of premium, upscale, and decadent flavors for Gilles. We didn’t skimp on anything. If the recipe said “one scoop,” we said “two scoops,” if the flavor dial was at “1,” we amped it to “2.” Get the picture? We weren’t thinking “light,” “low-cal,” or anything of the sort. We were thinking “decadence,” plain and simple!

Today, using the same original recipe that Mr. Gilles created back in 1938, we introduce a new generation of exciting and decadent flavors to enjoy. We are proud of the heritage of Gilles Frozen Custard and can’t wait for you to experience this tradition of excellence, the nostalgia of the custard shoppe experience, and a new chapter in creamy indulgence in the comfort of your own home.