Kopp's Frozen Custard

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Kopp's Frozen Custard
Founded1950; 72 years ago (1950) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Elsa Kopp
Headquarters7631 W Layton Ave
Greenfield, Wisconsin, U.S.
Number of locations
3 (2021)
Area served
Milwaukee metropolitan area
Key people
Karl Kopp (son), owner of Greenfield and Glendale stores
Mac McGuire, owner of Brookfield store
Productsfast casual restaurants specializing in frozen custard, jumbo burgers
OwnerKopp and McGuire family

Kopp's Frozen Custard is a restaurant chain located in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. It specializes in frozen custard and large "jumbo" hamburgers. Founded by Elsa Kopp in 1950, the restaurants continue to be heralded by local publications for their quality food.[1] By 2017, they have locations in three Milwaukee suburbs.[2]

Kopp's was the first custard stand to offer a special "flavor of the day" in addition to the more traditional chocolate and vanilla flavors.[3]



Elsa Kopp opened the first Kopp's stand at 6005 W. Appleton Ave., Milwaukee, Wisconsin (now the site of JJ Fish & Chicken) in 1950.[4] A German immigrant with no prior business experience, Kopp started the stand after her husband, Karl Kopp, developed Parkinson's disease. Some support in starting the business came from Leon Schneider, a custard machine repairman (the founder of Leon's Frozen Custard in 1942), whom Elsa Kopp had met while working at a bakery.

The Kopp's frozen custard stand rose in popularity quickly during the 1950s and was soon seen as a Milwaukee staple.[5] By 1960 the Kopp's stand was successful enough that Elsa felt comfortable experimenting with more exotic frozen custard recipes. Initially she mixed chocolate and vanilla, a controversial act in the early frozen custard community. After this, Kopp's began offering increasingly diverse concoctions which became their well known "flavor of the day" menu option.[3] Kopp's offers two unique flavors every day and a featured shake and sundae of the month. The featured flavors are often related to events for that day or month.[6]

The Glendale location (5373 N. Port Washington Ave.) is on the site of the former Milky Way drive-in restaurant, the inspiration for the external look of the Happy Days diner, Arnold's Drive-In.

Kopp's is now owned by Elsa's son, Karl Kopp, who also owns Elsa's on the Park on Jefferson St. in downtown Milwaukee which opened New Year's Eve of 1980. [7] He has also opened restaurants in Arizona and New York.[8][9] Each location prominently displays a portrait of Elsa Kopp.[10]

In September 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney made an unannounced visit to a Kopp's Frozen Custard location while campaigning for his and George W. Bush's reelection.[11]

Joe Biden visit[edit]

In June 2010, Vice President Joe Biden visited a Kopp's Frozen Custard location while campaigning for Democratic Senator Russ Feingold. Biden asked the manager of Kopp's what he owed for his custard. In response, the manager stated "Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Lower our taxes and we’ll call it even." In response, Biden came back later to the manager and said, "Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smartass all the time?" The story was covered by both local and national news agencies.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kopp's, Oscar's top our custard dream team". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007.
  2. ^ "Milwaukee Talks: Karl Kopp". OnMilwaukee.com. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  3. ^ a b "A peaches 'n' cream career". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.[dead link]
  4. ^ Trousil, Carrie. "Kopp's Frozen Custard". About.com Milwaukee. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  5. ^ "Custard Cool-Off". Shepherd Express. Archived from the original on March 20, 2006.
  6. ^ "Need a treat? Check the flavor forecast at Kopp's Frozen Custard". Studio A. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Tribune Company. July 17, 2014. Fox6 (WITI).
  7. ^ "Milwaukee Talks: Karl Kopp". OnMilwaukee.com. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  8. ^ Tarnoff, Andy (April 14, 2004). "Kopp's restaurant empire doesn't stop at state line". OnMilwaukee.com.
  9. ^ Tarnoff, Andy (March 10, 2009). "Milwaukee's Kopp continues westward expansion with Hanny's". OnMilwaukee.com.
  10. ^ Muszynski, Lacey (September 16, 2016). "Milwaukee's Top Burgers". Shepherd Express.
  11. ^ Applemann, Eric. "The Travels of Vice President Dick Cheney -- September 2004". P2004: The 2004 Presidential Campaign. Democracy in Action.
  12. ^ "V.P. Joe Biden Visits Kopp's Custard; Banters With Manager". Milwaukee, Wisconsin: WISN-TV. June 26, 2010.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]