Anderson Family History

Fenns Ice Cream

Along side the candy case and up against the east window at the front of the store stood a metal-covered ice cream cabinet. It had six or eight compartments, each with a heavy, round insulated lid to keep its contents frozen. Ice cream was hand-packed into pint and quart containers and there were usually three or four flavors on hand at all times. Ice cream cones were also sold in single and double dips along with ice cream bars.

Fenn Brothers, out of Sioux Falls, supplied the ice cream. It always came in metal cans, lined with a heavy paper, and each can probably held about five gallons of ice cream. When a can got empty, there was always a little ice cream that stuck to the paper. This part of the ice cream always tasted the best to me and I tried to always be nearby when it was time to change the containers.

Another product that Fenn’s put out was the Red Bird ice cream bars. Most of them were vanilla ice cream covered with a chocolate coating. But in every box of 48 there were a few bars that had pink ice cream instead of vanilla. If you got a pink bar, it entitled you to a free one. So whenever I was given permission to get one out of the freezer, I would try to peek in the ends of the wrappers in an attempt to detect any hint of pink that would entitle me to a free one later. This was not a very successful tactic, but it was fun trying.

Fenns also made some delicious candy bars that are no longer available. Bars such as Walnut Crush; Nougat Bar; Butter Brickle; Zero Bar; and Smooth Sailin’ were some that I remember fondly. Fenns sold their business and closed their factory in Sioux Falls sometime in the Sixties. There motto had been “Fenns, That Good Ice Cream”. Truer words were never spoken.

By Allan Anderson, 2005.

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