Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy will celebrate their 50th anniversary by offering some extra sweet savings for National Ice Cream Day!
The beloved ice cream shop and dairy store, known throughout the Midwest for its farm-fresh milk, hand-dipped ice cream, grilled burgers, fries, and shakes, opened its first family-owned shop in Oklahoma City in 1968.
Braum’s history goes back further than that, however, and there’s a Kansas connection.
In 1933, Henry H. Braum, Bill Braum’s father, bought a small butter processing plant in Emporia, Kansas. Later, milk processing was added, and the rest is history! Bill Braum grew up helping his dad and learning every aspect of the business, and eventually opened the first Braum’s store with his wife Mary. (See more below.)
On National Ice Cream Day, July 15, Braum’s will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its store opening with the following sweet savings:
- 50-cent small frozen yogurt cones
- 50-cent single-dip ice cream cones
- $1 single-dip ice cream sundaes
Every location will offer those specials from noon to 5 p.m. on July 15, 2018.
BRAUM’S HISTORY THROUGH THE DECADES:
• 1933: Henry Braum bought a small butter processing plant in Emporia, Kansas. Later, milk processing was added.
• 1940: Henry Braum expanded the business to include ice cream processing.
• 1952: Henry Braum sold the wholesale part of the business and began specializing in milk and ice cream. He developed a chain of retail ice cream stores in Kansas called “Peter Pan”, named after a local park in Emporia.
• 1961: After graduating with a business degree and taking a more active role in the company, Bill bought the company from his father and also purchased his first dairy farm in Emporia.
• 1967: After growing the Peter Pan chain to 61 stores and increasing the business ten-fold, Bill sold the “Peter Pan” retail stores to a large wholesaler. The sale did not include the Braum dairy herd and processing plant. Stated as a condition of sale, the Braum’s would not be allowed to sell ice cream in Kansas for ten years.
• 1968: Bill and his wife, Mary, opened their first Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Twenty-three more stores opened throughout the State of Oklahoma that year. For three years, because the Braum dairy herd and processing plant were still located in Emporia, Kansas, all ice cream, dairy products, and other supplies had to be transported daily from Emporia, Kansas, to Oklahoma.
• 1971: A new 60,000 square foot processing plant was built in Oklahoma City.
• 1975: The Braum’s dairy herd, which was the largest dairy herd in Kansas at the time, moved to Oklahoma. This “modern day cattle drive” consisted of over 900 cows traveling down the highway in a convoy of semi trailer trucks to their new home at the Braum Farm in Tuttle.
• 1978: The original Braum’s bakery was built in Oklahoma City next to the Processing Plant. This facility produced the fresh bakery items available in Braum’s stores including cookies, cones, buns, breads and much more.
• 1983: Bill and Mary Braum bought several farms in southeastern Oklahoma including farms in Stonewall, Asher, Wanette and Byars, Oklahoma. Each farm played its own unique role in the Braum operation from growing alfalfa hay and corn to feed the dairy herd, to raising calves.
• 1987: The need for a larger processing plant became evident. Braum’s construction crews built a 260,000 square foot, state-of-the-art-processing plant on the Braum Farm in Tuttle. The original processing plant became the site for Braum’s Corporate Offices.
• 1988: Bill Braum purchased the farm that lies on the border of Follett, Texas and Shattuck, Oklahoma. At the time, this farm was used primarily for growing alfalfa hay to feed the dairy herd. Over the years this farm has grown to 24,000 acres (38 square miles).
• 1993: Braum’s construction crews built what is now touted as one of the largest milking operations of its kind in the world on the Tuttle Farm consisting of a milk barn and 17 free stall barns (covering 35 acres) that house Braum’s private dairy herd.
• 2002: Braum’s construction crews built a milking complex on the Follett Farm. Although smaller than the milking operation in Tuttle, the private dairy herd provides several truckloads of thousands of pounds of fresh raw milk each day. This milk is transported to the Braum’s Processing Plant in Tuttle. Calves that are born on the Shattuck Farm are raised here and will eventually join the milking herd. All of the bull calves from both Tuttle and Shattuck are raised here as well.
• 2008: 3000 calf hutches and pens were installed so the replacement heifers could be raised on the Tuttle Farm. Eventually they will become part of the milking herd.
• 2010: Braum’s built a new 240,000 square foot Bakery and Warehouse Distribution Facility adjacent to the Processing Plant on the Tuttle Farm.
Today, Braum’s owns and operates around 280 stores located throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas. All Braum’s stores are within about a 300-mile radius of the Braum Farm and Processing Plant in Tuttle. The delivery trucks are on the road seven days a week delivering fresh product to each store, every other day.
Bill and Mary’s four children, Becky, Elaine, Murray and Drew have worked over the years in various capacities assuming more and more responsibilities. Today, Drew is President and CEO. He manages the company, including the processing plant, bakery, trucks and the stores. His sister Elaine assists him. Bill and Mary are semi-retired, and live on the Tuttle Farm.
Throughout the years, Bill Braum has been known as a pioneer in “vertical integration”. From the ground up, Braum’s consistently controls every aspect of the operation including farming, manufacturing, and retailing.