Swensen’s is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The company was started in 1948 by Earle Swensen, who learned to make ice cream while serving in the U.S. Navy World War II. He opened the original Swensen’s at Union and Hyde in what had been a failed ice cream parlor. One RHN member remembers when single scoop cones for children were 5 cents, or 6 cents dipped in chocolate.
Swensen sold the franchise rights in the 1970s but retained exclusive rights in San Francisco and operated the original Swensen’s until 1994, a year before his death at age 83.
There are now about 300 Swensen’s worldwide in the USA, South America, Middle East, South America, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan and Myanmar