From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Founded1950; 73 years ago (1950)
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
FounderLeo A. Morenz
Harry Axene
HeadquartersNewport Beach, California, U.S.
Number of locations
ProductsFast food (including hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes)
ParentThe Galardi Group
A Tastee-Freez location in Craigsville, Virginia

Tastee-Freez is an American franchised fast-food restaurant specializing in soft serve ice cream. Its corporate headquarters is in Newport Beach, California, and it has stores in four states. The first Tastee-Freez was established in Keithsburg, Illinois.


Tastee-Freez was founded in 1950 in Joliet, Illinois, by Leo S. Moranz and Harry Axene (formerly of Dairy Queen).[2][3] Moranz invented a soft serve pump and freezer which enabled the product, and their Harlee Manufacturing Company (a portmanteau of Harry and Leo) produced the machines which franchisees would buy and use in their respective locations.[3] Originally stores focused on ice milk and other frozen dairy-based desserts. Expansion of the brand was rapid in the 1950s; in 1952, there were 315 locations, and by 1957 there were nearly 1,800 locations.[3] The chain attempted to expand into England in the early 1960s where they began selling their products out of ice cream trucks. This business model was also attempted in the United States but proved so financially unsuccessful that Tastee-Freez filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 1963. Herbert Molner, then an assistant of Moranz, bought the chain out of bankruptcy a year later. He began a renovation plan that included a withdrawal from England, closure of older stores in smaller towns, and revitalization of the menu to include fast food items such as hot dogs and hamburgers.[4]

In 1982, Tastee-Freez was sold to the Denovo Corporation of Utica, Michigan, which also owned the Stewart's Restaurants and root beer, Dog n Suds Root beer and drive-ins and B&K Rootbeer drive ins, and Dairy Isle ice cream shops. In 1992, there were 340 locations.[5]

By 2003, the Galardi Group became a franchisee of Tastee-Freez and made Tastee-Freez products available in its restaurants, Wienerschnitzel and Original Hamburger Stand.[6] The Galardi Group was so pleased with the increased sales at its restaurant that it bought the Tastee-Freez company that year.[6][7]


  1. ^ Tastee-Freez Locations, accessed February 8, 2023.
  2. ^ About Us at its official website
  3. ^ a b c Aston v Harlee Manufacturing Co [1960] HCA 47, (1960) 103 CLR 391, High Court (Australia).
  4. ^ "Tastee-Freez on comeback trail". Detroit Free Press. November 4, 1968. pp. 8D. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  5. ^ Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A. (2002). Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. ISBN 9780801869204.
  6. ^ a b "Galardi Group". International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 72. St. James Press. 2005.
  7. ^ Spector, Amy (16 June 2003). "Wienerschnitzel parent Galardi Group Gobbles up Tastee-Freez". Nation's Restaurant News. Gale Group. Archived from the original on 28 February 2006.

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