About Breyers History

An American classic since 1866

Breyers William

Who We Are

In 1866, during the wake of the American Civil War, William A. Breyer of Philadelphia hand-cranked his first gallon of ice cream using some of the same ingredients we use today—rich cream, pure cane sugar and nuts. He sold his ice cream to his neighbors with the promise that it was created with the finest ingredients. Word spread quickly, and Breyer’s ice cream was soon declared to be Philadelphia’s best.

The Rich History of Breyers®


William A. Breyer of Philadelphia hand-cranked his first gallon of ice cream created with the finest ingredients—some of the very same that we use today. 


Breyer opened his first ice cream shop, quickly followed by four more. He continued to make his own recipe by hand and delivered it across the Philadelphia in a horse-drawn wagon.


30 years after William A. Breyer hand-cranked his first gallon of ice cream, the Breyer family opened their first wholesale manufacturing center. William’s son, Henry, incorporated the business in soon after, carrying on his father’s commitment to high quality ice cream. 


Ten years later, Breyers® Ice Cream Company was making more than one million gallons of ice cream every year, shipping it across the northeast from New York City to Washington D.C.


The Breyers® Ice Cream Company was bought by Unilever® from Kraft®, becoming a part of the Gold Bond-Good Humor Ice Cream Company, which was renamed to the Good Humor-Breyers® Ice Cream Company. 


Breyers® created our pledge as an homage to the standard set by our founder: to start with only high quality ingredients, like colors and flavors from natural sources, sustainably farmed vanilla and 100% Grade A milk and cream that comes from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones. * 

*Suppliers of other ingredients such as cookies, candies & sauces may not be able to make this claim.  The FDA states that no significant difference has been shown between dairy derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.


We celebrated 150 years of Breyers® as a classic American favorite since beginning with our very first hand-cranked gallon in 1866.