In the 1930s, Dan Gardiner, owner of Dan's Market in Salt Lake City, first approached the Farrs with the idea of selling ice cream in grocery stores. Other ice cream manufacturers had scoffed at the idea that consumers would take ice cream home. But Gardiner believed more homes would become equipped with refrigerator-freezers, and he was right. Farr family members began hand dipping their ice cream into pint and quart containers, paving the way for ice cream to be sold in grocery stores.
Since then, Farr's Ice Cream has become a staple in national chains including WalMart, Smith's and Associated Foods. Today, the company buys and resells national-branded products for Good Humor, Ben and Jerry's and Breyers, and retailers in 17 states sell Farr's products using their name.
Mileposts Farr Ice Cream Through the Years
1895: Lorin Farr and son Asael begin harvesting ice from frozen ponds in Weber County, storing it in an insulated warehouse in downtown Ogden. The ice is sold each summer.
1920: The Farrs construct the first commercial ice plant in five states. "Farr Better Ice" is manufactured in a "modern sanitary ice plant" and signifies the end of ice harvesting in Utah.
1929: Two years after General Electric's introduction of the refrigerator, the Farrs, led by Dexter Farr (Lorin's grandson), convert their ice making plant into an ice cream plant. The family begins selling ice next door to the plant. The "scoop shop" is still in operation today on Ogden's 21st Street.
Late 1930s: Dan's Market arranges to sell pre-packaged Farr Better Ice Cream as more homes become equipped with refrigerator-freezers. The Farr family hand dipped ice cream into pint and quart containers, initially offering two dozen flavors. The prepackaged business begins growth for Farr, expanding into supermarkets throughout Utah and Idaho.
1970s: Farr begins selling ice cream in 5-quart plastic tubs. In the next decade, the company introduces Farr Better Frozen Yogurt, and the supermarket business expands into several western states.
1980: Dexter Farr dies at the age of 82. His son, Dexter Duane Farr, president of Farrs Fresh since the late '6os, continues at the helm of the company.
2000: The company acquires Russell's Old Fashioned Ice Cream-its plant and its customer base. Production moves to the Russell's plant location in Salt Lake City, where it is still located. Michael Farr takes over as president, with brothers Darin and Nathan in leadership positions. Their father, Dexter Duane, remains active in the company at age 80, coming in to the plant every day.
2010: Farr's Fresh Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Cafes, a new franchised retail concept, begins opening stores in Utah and expands into Arizona and Texas.
2013: Farr begins operations of Hokalia shaved ice outlets. More than two dozen units are expected to open in the summer of 2013.