In 1949, America’s “industrial food complex” was in full swing. Quicker, simpler, easier and cheaper was (and still is) the order of the day.
Dairies and creameries had turned to artificial flavors, colorings and sweeteners to make their ice creams (most still do) and ice creams were now largely batch frozen (most still are) loaded with air, fillers and stabilizers.
Mac and Ernie decided they would start an ice cream company, and that their company would be different. They’d look to Central Coast farms & purveyors for their bounty of year ‘round and seasonal ingredients, including local grass-grazed milk & cream, fruit, nuts and produce. They’d make their own jams and caramels and bake their own inclusions. And the fillers, stabilizers and preservatives that everybody else was using? Never.
They’d forego the easy route and make their ice creams from scratch. No compromises. Their company would produce “the finest ice creams in the world.”
Mac and Ernie McConnell spent months developing their own recipes, along with a revolutionary, mechanized version of the European French Pot ice cream-making process. In December, 1950 they opened their first shop.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams was an immediate success. In time, it became a Santa Barbara institution.
We’re celebrating our 70 year anniversary as one of the finest ice cream companies in the world this year, and it's our honor to serve you in the McConnell’s tradition today!