Swensens was started in 1948 by Earle Swensen, who had learned to make ice cream while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Swensen opened his first shop at the corner of Union and Hyde Streets, along the cable car tracks in Russian Hill in San Francisco at what had been a failed ice cream parlor. Although vanilla was his lifelong favorite, he developed more than 150 flavors, which he marketed under the motto "Good as Father Used to Make". The original store sold ice cream and other frozen dessert specialties (such as sundaes and banana splits), with primarily take out service. Later other Swensen's franchisees added indoor seating and offered various types of food, including sandwiches and hamburgers.
Today the company is owned by International Franchise Corp (IFC) of Markham, Ontario, Canada, which bought the franchise business from former frozen food manufacturer CoolBrands International in 2006. The Swensen's chain now includes about 300 franchise outlets worldwide including locations in Asia, the Middle East, the United States, South America, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
The company opened its first store in India at Mantri Mall, marking the first of 80 stores over the next 5 years scheduled to open in South India. Swensen's is also now open in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In March 2014, Swensen's first restaurant in Yangon, Myanmar opened for the first time.
|Swensen's serving staff|
|L-t-R: Elder Howard, Elder Hogan, Elder Kettavong, Sister Moleff, Elder Moleff, Sister Lam, Sister Brown, Elder Davis, Elder Crump, and District Leader Elder Omer|