Our Story

A man, an idea, and one simple, hand-operated ice cream maker (capacity, one gallon)…that comprised the entire ice cream operation in 1928 when E.J. Schoephoester started making ice cream in the back of his Madison, Wisconsin grocery store. Beginning with that single hand-cranked freezer, he churned away laboriously until the rock salt was melted and the cream so thick he could barely turn the crank.  This is how he began to develop the distinctive Schoep’s Ice Cream flavor and quality which has been justly famous to this day.

Only a short twelve years later, in 1940, P.B. Thomsen, a well-known butter maker from Windsor, Wisconsin, bought into the company.  With a renewed focus on the company and products, Thomsen began wholesaling ice cream to ice cream parlors and other stores in 2-1/2 gallon containers and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Schoep’s Homemade Ice Cream continued to grow in popularity with consumers in and around the Madison, Wisconsin area.  Then, just after World War II, with eyes toward the future and changing consumer habits, Schoep’s developed and introduced the “Home Pak” half-gallon line of take-home cartons.  This innovative package quickly became quite popular to ice cream lovers and helped expand sales beyond Madison, and throughout the Midwest.

During the late 40s, 50s and 60s, the company acquired the ice cream businesses of various dairy companies in Wisconsin.  These efforts helped increase the popularity of Schoep’s Ice Cream and their products and the brand continued to grow.  

As the years have gone by Schoep‘s Ice Cream remains popular with consumers by keeping the tradition of E.J. Schoephoester alive.  Schoep’s now has a full line of flavors and package sizes, including a line of sherbets, low-fat ice creams, and even a frozen yogurt.  The company also developed and introduced the Big Event line of frozen novelties that includes treats like fudge bars and ice cream sandwiches.

Family remains at the heart of Schoep’s Ice Cream.  For the last eight decades, the company has been owned and operated by the Thomsen family.  Self-proclaimed ‘ice-cream-heads,’ Thomsen family members have been, and continue to be, heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of making ice cream and running the company.  With members of the third generation Thomsen’s now in control of the company, it will maintain its family oriented philosophy into the future.

Today, Schoep’s Ice Cream makes more than 12 million gallons of ice cream  annually and ranks as one of the largest independent ice cream manufacturers not only in Wisconsin, but the United States as well.  With a full assortment of delicious flavors, Schoep’s Ice Cream is available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more than 90 years, the commitment to core values of family, tradition, and quality has not waivered.  Go ahead, Serve It… You Deserve It!