The Abbott’s Story

The year was 1902, and a young, enthusiastic Arthur Abbott was hard at work. He was traveling with small carnivals along the Eastern Seaboard, spending his days entertaining the public and his nights perfecting a secret recipe for a special frozen dessert. As he moved from state to state with the carnival, he peddled his delicious creation and saved the profits to support his horse racing interests. Little did he know the lasting impact his heavenly treat would make.

In 1926, tired of constant travel, Arthur settled down in the port town of Rochester, NY. He opened up shop at the corner of Lake and Beach Avenues, across the street from Lake Ontario. At the time, there was a bustling amusement park that drew crowds of people from all over. Once word got out about Arthur’s handcrafted concoction, people lined up by the hundreds to enjoy what became known as Abbott’s Frozen Custard.

Arthur then explored other areas to sell his frozen custard, including Riverside Park in Massachusetts, and Playland at Rye Beach, NY.

From his newfound success, Arthur was able to buy and train his own racehorse. He struck it rich when his prized horse, Blue Man, won the Preakness Stakes in 1952, earning Arthur an astonishing $86,135. At that point, Arthur was in his 70s and financially comfortable, so he considered hanging up his scoops for good.

Fate had other plans. In the summer of 1957, Arthur met Leonard and Thelma Schreiber, who loved Abbott’s just as much as he did. Arthur felt content to let them carry on his now classic frozen custard tradition. The Schreibers expanded the business, and even commissioned the first Abbott’s franchise at 630 West Ridge Road, Rochester, NY. In 1981, Thelma unveiled her now famous frozen novelty known as the Turtle.

The original Abbott’s stand in Rochester continues to serve hundreds of thousands of customers each year. While the Company has expanded to over 40 locations, it remains family owned and dedicated to creating lasting memories for generations to come.

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Our Story