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Founded1950; 71 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)

Tastee-Freez is a soft serve ice cream franchised chain of fast-food restaurants. Its corporate headquarters is in Newport Beach, California, and it has stores in eight states, with two stores located in Illinois. 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).[1][2] Moranz invented a soft serve pump and freezer which enabled the product, and their Harlee Manufacturing Company[3] produced the machines which franchisees would buy and use in their respective locations.[2] Originally stores focused on iced 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.[2]

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.[4]


  1. ^ About Us at its official website
  2. ^ a b c Aston v Harlee Manufacturing Co [1960] HCA 47, (1960) 103 CLR 391, High Court (Australia).
  3. ^ Harry and Le(e)o
  4. ^ Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A. (2002). Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. ISBN 9780801869204.

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