Brigham's Ice Cream

Brigham's Ice Cream
Industry food manufacturer
Founded Newton Highlands, Massachusetts
Headquarters Lynnfield, Massachusetts, United States
Products ice cream
Parent HP Hood LLC
Location in Arlington Heights

Brigham's Ice Cream is an ice cream manufacturer and was formerly a restaurant franchise. Brigham's is sold in quart cartons throughout New England, and was served at franchised restaurants located in Massachusetts until 2013. It was founded in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts.[1] Since the purchase by HP Hood, its offices are located at 6 Kimball Lane, Lynnfield, MA 01940.[2] The company maintains a strong regional identity, using regional terms such as "wicked" (extremely) and "frappe" (milkshake with ice cream), and makes reference to events with special significance to New Englanders, such as the Big Dig and the 2004 World Series.[1] At one time there were 100 Brigham's restaurant locations with the last holdout in Arlington, Massachusetts,[3] when it finally changed its name in August 2015.[4] The ice cream is currently owned and manufactured by Hood.


Brigham's was founded in 1914 by Edward L. Brigham in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts.[1] In 1914, Brigham opened a shop, where he sold ice cream and candy, which he made in the back of the store. Originally, ice cream was sold for five cents and sundaes for 20 cents. Brigham's ice cream became so popular that the local police were called upon to control weekend crowds. In 1929, Brigham's merged with Symmes' Durand Company, establishing the basis of today's Brigham's with the opening of three additional stores and an ice cream manufacturing plant. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s business flourished and 20 new stores opened.

In 1961, Brigham's was acquired by Star Markets.[5] Forty new stores opened, offering sandwiches and ice cream in a new colonial-style setting. Brigham's was acquired by Jewel Companies in 1964 when Jewel acquired Brigham's parent, Star Markets.[6] In 1968, Brigham's acquired Buttrick's, a small chain of colonial-style restaurants based in Arlington, Massachusetts. This location became the Brigham's new home office until its sale to HP Hood, at which time this location was closed. At its height, Brigham's had 100 restaurants in the New England area. In 1982, Jewel Companies sold Brigham's to privately held owners.[7][8] Responding to consumer demands, Brigham's debuted quarts of its ice cream in supermarkets in 1983 and today boasts distribution in every major supermarket in New England.

Brigham's bought Élan Frozen Yogurt in 1993, to expand and improve the menu towards the ever-growing frozen-dessert industry.[9] The purchase enabled Brigham's to enter the New York region as well as additional demographic markets. In 2003, Brigham's launched its first novelty, the Brigham's Ice Cream Bar.[10]

On June 27, 2008, in a secured creditor transaction led by the company's senior debt holder, Cambridge Savings Bank, Brigham's was split into two companies and sold to HP Hood LLC and Luke T. Cooper of Deal Metrics, LLC.[11] [12] Hood acquired the Brigham's brand name and all products, proprietary, flavors and recipes. In a separate deal, Brigham's agreed to sell its 28 retail outlets and restaurants to Baltimore-based Deal Metrics LLC, through its holding company, New England Food Service, LLC. The manufacturing of Brigham's Ice Cream for sale in supermarkets was sold to Hood.[13] At that time there were about 21 locations.

Brighams restaurants were undermined by shady business practices of the holder-Deal Metrics; unpaid leases and supplies, and often late or totally unpaid wages led to an unnecessary demise of the restaurant chain. In 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy and eventually closed all company-owned restaurants.[14] Franchised locations continued to operate until 2013, when the four remaining franchise locations (Arlington Heights, Hingham, North Andover, and Quincy) were forced to drop the brand from their store names.[15] The Arlington Heights location became Digumms in August 2015,[4] the Hingham location became Patti's Place [since closed], Quincy became The Ice Cream Parlour, and North Andover location is now called Fari's Diner.[16]

Hood, identified as BIC Acquisitions, LLC, continues to market Brigham's ice cream in stores and owns the trademarks and official website.

Ice cream

Today, Brigham's ice cream products and Élan Frozen Yogurt are sold at grocery stores and supermarkets throughout New England. Brigham's offers its premium ice cream and sherbet in 21 flavors, as well as five seasonal specialty flavors. Élan Frozen Yogurt offers six low fat all natural flavors. They are well known for some of their original flavors including the Big Dig Ice Cream flavor, Raspberry Lime Rickey Sherbet and Irish Coffee. In 2004 Brigham's celebrated its 90th anniversary with the introduction of the new Reverse the Curse Ice Cream Flavor. The next year, after the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, Reverse the Curse was renamed Curse Reversed by a New England-wide election. It was later renamed Dice-Kream, after Daisuke Matsuzaka joined the Red Sox. The new flavor's launch became the most successful in Brigham's history. Nevertheless, Brigham's signature flavor remains vanilla. Consistently the number one selling ice cream in the Boston area, vanilla remains a Brigham's trademark. Although November and December are traditionally the worst months for ice cream retail sales, this is when Brigham's has its highest sales. This is largely attributed to the desire for vanilla ice cream during the holidays.



Around the Boston area the most common term used for chocolate sprinkles is "jimmies." Jimmies were first developed by the Just Born Candy Company, founded by Samuel Born, who immigrated to the U.S. from Russia around 1910. In 1930, Born invented tiny hot dog-shaped chocolate sprinkles to put on desserts, calling this creation "jimmies," after the man who ran the machine producing them. When they came to Boston (circa 1947), Brigham's was the first to promote jimmies and did not charge for them. Until the retail locations closed Brigham's continued the tradition of serving jimmies free of charge on ice cream cones and dishes.

The term has become a faux pas to some. It was rumored to have been used as a racial epithet.[17]


Not all flavors are available at all venues.


  1. 1 2 3 Brigham's History
  2. Contact Us Archived May 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Chesto, Jon (May 27, 2014). "Owners of Brigham's ice cream bank on nostalgia with latest promotion". Boston Business Journal.
  4. 1 2 "Um ... can you dig 'em?". Your Arlington. August 30, 2015.
  5. "Star Market Co. To Make Exchange Offer to Brigham's". Boston Globe. November 8, 1961. p. 12. (subscription required (help)). Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  6. "Star Market Merger Voted By Jewel Tea". Chicago Tribune. January 31, 1964. p. C7. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  7. Mohl, Bruce A. (March 11, 1982). "Brigham's is sold by Jewel Cos.". Boston Globe. p. 30. (subscription required (help)). Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  8. "Jewel selling Brigham's unit". Chicago Tribune. March 11, 1982. p. f1. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  9. "Brigham's to Buy Elan Foods, Maker Of Yogurt Desserts". New York Times. May 11, 1993.
  10. "Title Annotation: Brigham's Ice Cream Bar". Frozen Food Digest. February 1, 2003 via The Free Library.
  11. Metzger, Andy (August 21, 2008). "Bank buys back Brigham's". The Arlington Advocate.
  12. Krasner, Jeffrey (June 28, 2008). "Brigham's can't beat the heat; assets go to 2 buyers". Boston Globe. (subscription required (help)). Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  14. Woolhouse, Megan (November 20, 2009). "To outcry, Brigham's heads to bankruptcy". Boston Globe.
  15. Luna, Taryn (July 17, 2013). "Last two Brigham's stores must change name: Ice cream parlors bear iconic brand's name". Boston Globe.
  16. Kagan, Aaron (May 28, 2013). "99 Years Later, The End of Brigham's Ice Cream Shops". Eater.
  17. Freeman, Jan (March 13, 2011). "The jimmies story: Can an ice cream topping be racist?". Boston Globe.

External links

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