End of an Era: 99-year-old Massachusetts Ice Cream Forced to Rebrand
Known for its old-fashioned, butterfat-based ice cream, Brigham’s ice cream shops in Massachusetts will soon be replaced after nearly 100 years in the business.
HP Hood, which purchased Brigham’s in 2008, announced it will no longer sell Brigham’s ice cream in bulk containers, forcing the last four locations — in Andover, Arlington Heights, Hingham, and Quincy — to rename and rebrand.
“Hood made the decision to stop selling and stop manufacturing bulk ice cream, which is the ice cream sold to Brigham’s ice cream restaurants, in 3-gallon tubs.” said Lynne Bohan, a spokesperson for Hood. “Because of this, restaurants formerly known as Brigham’s are changing their names and transitioning, because they will be no longer be selling Brigham’s ice creams.”
One store owner wishes it could have waited at least one more year.
“Brigham’s has been a name around Massachusetts for 99 years. We were hoping they would have waited until the 100th anniversary,” Steven Kupelnick, owner of the Arlington Heights location told the Arlington Advocate. He and his partner, John Mercer, bought the store from his father in 2001.
Bohan explained Hood chose to stop selling the bulk size because the volume could no longer sustain the business. The change will most likely go into effect in June, when Hood’s current supply is predicted to run out, however quart size containers will still be available in retailer stores.
The Hingham location is changing its name to Patti’s Place and will sell Gifford’s ice cream from Maine. Meanwhile, the Quincy shop will be renamed The Ice Cream Parlor and plans to sell Sugar Maple Creamery products.
“It’s going to take some time to figure out a name,” Kupelnick said.
A Panera Bread down the street from Kupelnick’s location closed, and Brigham’s business has consequently picked up. So he might choose a name that fits more of a café as opposed to an exclusively sweets shop.
As sad as it is to see such a historic store end, Kupelnick notes how the opportunity allows them to modernize and revamp the business.
“It may be a good thing for us to bring new people in who don’t know Brigham’s and introduce our new self to the area,” Kupelnick said.