Leopold’s Ice Cream was founded in 1919 by three immigrant brothers from Greece: George, Peter, and Basil Leopold. They learned the art of candy and dessert from an uncle who had already settled in America. The brothers perfected the secret formulas and created the world famous Leopold’s VeriBest™ ice cream. They opened their own ice cream parlor on the corner of Gwinnett and Habersham streets in Savannah, where two streetcar lines intersected. Many a rider would jump off the streetcar and entreat the motorman to wait as they got a frozen delight!
Generations of Savannahians have loved Leopold’s ice cream. During the early years, food service was added and Savannah began enjoying tasty treats such as hamburgers, baby clubs, and pimento cheese sandwiches. The soda fountain business was legendary. Everyone remembers the fabulous malts, milk shakes, black and white sodas, banana splits and many more. Famed lyricist Johnny Mercer grew up a block away from Leopold’s and was a faithful customer when he was home from Hollywood. He even told Peter he would write a song about Leopold’s famous “Tutti-Frutti” ice cream, which had become a Leopold’s hallmark and Savannah’s favorite. Leopold’s ice cream and sherbet molds were a holiday highlight in Savannah’s finest clubs. Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor was always a popular destination after concerts, dances, and football games.
Stratton Leopold, Peter’s youngest child learned the art of making premium ice cream as a child. Upon his father’s passing, Stratton took over the business, continuing his family’s legacy. He later left Savannah to pursue his dream of working in Hollywood. Today, Stratton is an active member of the Hollywood motion picture community, serving as a Producer on films such as Mission Impossible 3, The Sum of All Fears, The General’s Daughter and Parker. Stratton has worked on many other blockbuster hits during his career in the film industry including The Big Chill and John Carpenter’s They Live. Props and posters from these films can be found in the shop today.
Though Stratton left Savannah to pursue his Hollywood dream, Leopold’s Ice Cream continued to be a Savannah tradition carried on by other members of the Leopold family. In the summer of 2004, Stratton and Mary officially opened the new Broughton Street location. They continue their legendary family business proudly using many fixtures from the original store including the black marble soda fountain, wooden back bar and telephone booth. Leopold’s Ice Cream is hand-crafted in historic downtown Savannah using the original, secret recipes and techniques handed down to Stratton by his father.
As we celebrate our first 95 years of creating tasty memories, we look forward to introducing Leopold’s Ice Cream to people around the United States as we begin to ship our super premium ice cream from beautiful Savannah, GA, directly to our customers’ front doors!
Here’s to the next 95 years of “Good Things to Eat. Good Things to Drink! ™”