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Founded1950; 69 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 franchised chain of 23 fast-food restaurants. Its corporate headquarters is in Newport Beach, California, and it has stores in 12 of the United States, with most of its freestanding stores located in Virginia, Illinois and Maryland. 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 1800 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]

Newer locations have a larger fast food menu, far beyond the original offerings. Since 2003, the company has been owned by Galardi Group Franchise & Leasing, a franchisor based in California that also owns Wienerschnitzel hot dog restaurants. Wienerschnitzel has begun to incorporate Tastee-Freez soft serve products in their approximately 350 restaurants. Select Tastee-Freez soft serve products can also be found at The Original Hamburger Stand locations. There are fewer than fifty freestanding stores in the United States.[citation needed]


Tastee Freez had its own manufacturing arm; "Freez King"; located on Homan Ave in Chicago IL. These machines were the single-barrel 2500 and double barrel 6500; whose most notable feature was the pressurized pump forks going up and down... and later the 2600 and 6600 high production models which remain as the most sought after commercial grade soft serve freezers on the market; for exceptional high volume production efficient of resource. Armin Fiedler was Chief Engineer for Tastee Freez and bought out the manufacturing arm Freez King in 1971; creating the "Freez King" division of International Freezer Corporation; which continued the Tastee Freez / Freez King tradition of unequaled engineering excellence. Omar Knedlick pumps in the TF/FK 2600/6600 models - which could only be produced for Tastee Freez alone; but Freez King under Tastee Freez also manufactured soft serve/shake/slush dispensing freezers for the commercial restaurant market; usually models 925/975 which are single/double barrel machines with options such as air/water cooled; pressurized or gravity fed product to the evaporator/ freezing cylinder; electrical options, etc. which could fit almost any distributor or restaurant owner's needs.


In the 1950s, Tastee-Freez had the Tastee-Freez Twins mascots: Tee (female) and Eff (male). The mascots were clothed with ice cream (strawberry and chocolate respectively) on their heads.


  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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