Known unofficially (or officially depending on whom you ask) as the “custard capital of the world,” Milwaukee and its surrounding communities boast an impressive and well-respected lineup of frozen custard stands and shops, many with decades of cones and sundaes behind them and each with fans as loyal as those of any sports team. Everyone, from businessmen in suits and paramedics in uniform to grandmothers and former President Bill Clinton eats custard. Milwaukee’s oldest custard stand is Gilles Frozen Custard, opened by Paul Gilles in 1938.
A few years later, custard machine repairman Leon Schneider founded his eponymous Leon’s Frozen Custard Drive-In in 1942. Leon’s is rumored to have inspired the drive-in concept for Arnold’s on Happy Days.
Schneider helped Elsa Kopp start her own custard business, Kopp’s Frozen Custard, in 1950, which has since grown to three locations.