The Meadows Original Frozen Custard: A delicious
The Meadows Original Frozen Custard
A delicious "family" team effort
By Jennifer LB Leese
Staff Writer, Picket News
Serving up delicious, beat-the-heat custard is The Meadows Original Frozen Custard in Hagerstown's forte. Co-owners Tim, Connie, and Michael Illig, opened their franchise in June 2006. Michael was the first employee at The Meadows in Ebensburg, PA (The Illigs' hometown) and worked there through high school and into college. Shortly after becoming the assistant manager, an opportunity arose for him and his family to open their own store here in Hagerstown - boy, are we glad they did!
Michael works as the store manager, Tim helps him out, and Connie handles the accounting and marketing for the business. "Our goal is to continue to grow our business by serving a quality product that's made fresh all day, every day, and having that product served by our staff in a friendly, timely manner in a very clean and sanitary environment," said Connie.
Connie feels that the exhausted economy has hit everyone and they refuse to offer anything less than quality products without raised prices or smaller quantities. "It's been difficult for everyone," she said.
The Meadows Original Frozen Custard has been around since the summer of 1950. Brothers, J.V. Richard and Delbert Meadows, opened the first small custard stand in Duncansville, PA, where it is considered a tourist attraction. Ten years into the business, they decided to give the customers more by adding batting cages, mini golf, and go-karts to their location. The brothers did very well and the demand for their custard grew in popularity. Now there are 22 locations, with most located in Pennsylvania. "We were the first to open in Maryland and there were approximately 13 other locations before we opened," said Connie. "Our family is from "Meadows Country" where we've known since 1950 what a great product it is."
The Duncansville location is still in operation and is owned by Dick, Jay, and Joel Meadows, sons of Delbert Meadows.
Each privately-owned Meadows has its own style, however, all products are served the same way. The Illig trio designed their parlor to complement the 1950s era with a black and white checkerboard floor, black booths and stools, black and white 50s photos of the original Meadows, and 50s music playing inside for their guests. Outside, while enjoying the weather, guests can sit on the benches, or the grassy area in front of the building.
"The frozen custard is an original recipe that has been in the Meadows family for decades. In 1950 the Meadows brothers, J.V., Richard and Delbert, worked with Seal-Test Dairy to come up with a unique frozen custard recipe that is still used today. When Seal-Test Dairy went out of business the recipe was then transferred to Galliker's Dairy who is now in charge of the production. The Meadows menu includes shakes, sundaes, arctic swirls, banana splits, root beer floats, strawberry shortcakes, smoothies, and cones." (Wikipedia)
Frozen custard is a cold dessert similar to ice cream, made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar, but custard has less air. "Every Meadows establishment makes their frozen custard fresh all day, every day so it will have an added freshness to it compared to any frozen dessert that has been previously made and stored in containers," said Connie. "The challenge is to keep the custard at a smooth consistent texture, somewhat similar to soft serve but we "scoop" our custard, which is confusing to some folks.
At The Meadows Original Frozen Custard guests can choose cup or cone sizes of frozen custard, frozen yogurt, Italian ice (9 flavors), and gelatis. There's also sundaes, swirls, shakes, and Meadows favorites, which include a 2-pound banana split, turtle sundae (their best seller), hot brownie or hot apple dumpling sundae, chippers, black cow, baby cakes and more. Their most popular flavors include vanilla, turtle, black cherry vanilla, butter pecan, dirty turtle, and coffee, including Irish cräme cappuccino. New flavors that have hit the road running are chocolate raspberry truffle, Almond Joy, double marshmallow Oreo, butter brickle, and rocky road.
"We make vanilla and chocolate frozen custard every day and two "flavors of the day". We also serve a fat-free, no sugar added vanilla frozen yogurt everyday and a low-fat frozen yogurt each week," added Connie.
Wanting to help animals at the Humane Society of Washington County, The Meadows started the "Cool Your Paws" event that takes place every year. "Over the past five years, this event has evolved into a great outing for pet owners, pet vendors, and pets alike," said Connie. "We have pet-related products and services (trainers, gourmet treats, dog beds, animal clinics, pet caricatures, photos, pet groomers, and more) onsite for pet owners to peruse. We also have adoptable animals and literature from the Humane Society as well.
"But the best part is that we give FREE custard treats to all 4-legged visitors with any purchase from their owners." A percentage of sales for that entire day are donated directly to HSWC. "This event has gotten bigger every year - dogs must be spreading the word!" Connie said.
This year The Meadows will be sponsoring the Turkey Trot 5K at Hagerstown Community College, which benefits the Hagerstown Food Bank, as well as the Children's Village 5K & Fun Run on Saturday, June 23, 2012.
Check out their monthly calendar for more events, weekly specials, and daily flavors at www.meadowsfrozencustard.com or at www.meadowsofhagerstown.com. There you can sign up to receive daily emails of the "flavors of the day", or pick up the monthly calendar at the store.
Join The Meadows on their Facebook(r) page (Hagerstown Meadows) today. Be the 300th person to "like" or "share" their page and you can win a $40 gift certificate from Sheetz.
Connie encourages you to let them know how they're doing. "We encourage feedback from our customers, good and bad, so we can continue to make improvements where needed."
The Meadows Original Frozen Custard is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and is located at 222 E. Oak Ridge Drive, South Pointe Shopping Center in Hagerstown. Contact them at 301-790-2400 or visit them online: www.meadowsfrozencustard.com.