What Is The Oldest Ice Cream Parlor In The US?
By Gregory Lovvorn
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the first ice cream parlor advertisement hit the pages of the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777. A New York City confectioner named Philip Lenzi took the ad out, but his ice cream parlor is no longer open, and you’ll have to head just a little bit south to find the oldest in the country.
L.D. Bassett, Inc., the oldest ice cream parlor in the United States, has been located in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia since 1892, but the company itself has been around since 1861, staffed by six generations of the same family. Not only is Bassetts Ice Cream the oldest ice cream shop in the country, but it's also the oldest brand of ice cream to be in continuous production.
Lewis Dubois Bassett, a school teacher, made the ice cream using a mule-powered churn in his backyard in 1861. When he wasn't teaching, Lewis sold his ice cream at the farmer's market in Philadelphia, eventually affording him the luxury to move his business into a shop at the corner of 5th and Market Streets in 1885, and later the Reading Terminal Market in 1892.