ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Bridgeman's started in Duluth more than a century ago

Bridgeman's has restaurants and outlets throughout the Midwest, though not as many as the chain once had. Many other retailers, however, have franchises that allow them to serve Bridgman's ice cream.

Scooping up a cone
Bridgeman's history in Duluth goes back to the 1880s. In 1976, a server scoops up a cone for a customer at a local Bridgeman's ice cream shop. (File / News Tribune)

Bridgeman's has restaurants and outlets throughout the Midwest, though not as many as the chain once had. Many other retailers, however, have franchises that allow them to serve Bridgman's ice cream.

And it all started in Duluth more than a century ago.

In 1883, a young man named Henry Bridgeman started selling fresh milk door to door in Duluth, using a goat cart to haul his product. His business took off and grew to become the largest dairy seller in the Midwest.

His two sons, Chester and Roy, wanting to set out on their own in 1936, opened the first Bridgeman's Ice Creame Shoppe in Duluth.

People thought they were crazy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Why in the world would anyone open an ice cream parlor in Minnesota? And why open one during the Great Depression?

But the brothers persisted, and it paid off. They opened five more ice cream parlors in the next 18 months. And the chain grew from there.

As late as 1980, Bridgman milk still was being sold in Duluth. And today, Bridgeman Ice Cream Inc., based in Brooklyn Center, Minn., still is family owned.

Duluth has a full-menu Bridgeman's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour at 2202 Mountain Shadow Drive by Miller Hill Mall, and a seasonal Bridgeman's on the Lakewalk in the Fitger's Brewery Complex. Embers Duluth Grill, 118 S. 27th Ave. W., is among the businesses allowed to serve Bridgman's ice cream.

And Bridgeman's by Shelton, a small, old-fashioned ice cream shop, will open soon at 1230 Commonwealth Ave. It will serve Bridgeman's ice cream treats and burgers and fries.

Related Topics: FOODRESTAURANTS AND BARS
What To Read Next
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
The set of bills would require up to 24 weeks of paid family and medical leave from all Minnesota employers, regardless of size.
Bankruptcy information gathered from cases filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Duluth.
Recently sold properties from St. Louis County.