As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline.
In the mid-80s, Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys, received a tip from a mall manager who wanted ice cream sold in the mall. The manager didn’t want a separate business to sell the ice cream, instead looking for a confectionery shop already established in the mall to take it on.
At the start, Purdys sold ice cream cones only—but Mr. Flavelle wanted to add another option: ice cream bars.
So he took ice cream home, cut it into chunks and experimented with melted chocolate and different toppings until he found it.
Vanilla ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and smothered in roasted almonds.
You can get the Original at any Purdys shop (but not online, as it turns out you can’t easily fit an ice cream bar through a mail slot).
Ice cream itself actually dates back to (at least) the 4th century B.C. and it’s believed to have been brought to Europe from China. Originally, it was ice blended with fruits, so more of a sorbet, but as people continued to experiment with flavours and ways to keep the ice cream frozen, it became what we now call ice cream.
The ice cream bar was invented much, much later (in 1920) in the United States by Christian Kent Nelson, a confectionery shop owner originally from Gunstrup, Denmark.
The story goes that a young customer in the shop couldn’t decide between a chocolate bar or an ice cream sandwich but only had enough money for one or the other.
This gave Nelson the idea to create ice cream dipped in chocolate, and called it the “I-Scream Bar”. The name was changed to the Eskimo Bar a year later when Nelson went into partnership with chocolate maker Russell C. Stover.
Where to next, time travellers? The 90s, and a certain chocolate with a lot of personality.