In the 1880’s, Luick was already making delectable ice cream in his small confectionary shop in Milwaukee. It was his son William’s idea to sell wholesale ice cream, an idea that his father did not readily buy into. William rented a failing drugstore soda machine on Milwaukee Street between Wisconsin and Wells. William also purchased a small shop and started to make 10 to 20 gallons of ice cream a day. At this time, ice cream had to be hand-turned in a small freezer. A drugstore on 27th and Wisconsin Avenue was William’s first customer.[ii] Because of his son William’s success in making and selling wholesale ice cream, John was convinced of the business potential.
“The Dairy Industry is the biggest in the world. It is bigger than the steel industry.” Thomas McInnerney 1926 to the Milwaukee Sentinel
Luick made a number of important contributions to the Ice Cream Industry. He was the first person to sell pint “bricks” of ice cream wrapped in paper and quarts of ice cream in cartons. He created flavors of ice cream other than the traditional Neapolitan flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Luick mixed his ice cream with fruit and candy to increase his flavor potentials. Luick’s business was so revolutionary that confectioners from across the country came to observe his business. Eventually, John retired and left his business to his son William.
Nevertheless, Luick Ice Cream was a Milwaukee staple for decades, especially in the 1920’s. This decade saw the standard of living rise along with wages. Never before in history did the majority of the population have some sort of disposable income or leisure time. These two things merged together at the soda fountain or ice cream parlor that Luick helped to popularize.
[ii] “Everybody Likes Ice Cream” The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 29, 1952, Section 2.
[iv] “Chain Concern Booms State Milk Future” The Milwaukee Sentinel, September 3, 1926.
[v] “Trapp Dairy Co. Unites With Chain Organization” The Milwaukee Journal, December 16, 1927, Page 1.
[vi]“Luick Dairy Co. Horse and Wagon,” Milwaukee Public Library Digital Collections, accessed June 23, 2011, http://content.mpl.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/HstoricPho&CISOPTR=4111&CISOBOX=1&REC=1
[vii] “Breyers,” Unilever USA Brands, accessed June 23, 2011, http://www.unileverusa.com/brands/foodbrands/breyers/index.aspx