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Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Perry’s Ice Cream

By Marlee Tuskes,


AKRON, N.Y. (WIVB) — There’s a certain way Perry’s has been making their ice cream all these years.

“We want to make it one batch at a time, and we always want to put in enough of the good stuff,” said Executive Vice President Brian Perry.

That was H. Morton Perry’s motto from the day he started making the sweet treat. But Perry’s business didn’t start out as ice cream.

“My great grandfather back in 1918 was looking to start his own business, and found the Akron milk route for sale that a local farmer was selling,” Perry said. “He thought it would be interesting to come back from Lockport where he was, and rejoin his family and start a business of delivering milk around Akron. The first day in business he delivered 29 gallons of milk.”

More than a century later, 29 gallons of milk has turned into 11 million gallons of ice cream a year. Brian Perry said his great-grandfather started making the ice cream we know and love today as a favor to his sister-in-law.

“He had a simple request from his wife’s sister saying, ‘hey, could you make some ice cream for the Akron Central School? We’d love to serve it to the kids,'” Perry said.

Using a family recipe, Perry made the first batch in his kitchen. From there, the business has grown to what it is today with more than 75 flavors to choose from.

“Inspiration for the flavors comes from a variety of places,” said Nichole Buryta, Senior Brand Manager for Perry’s Ice Cream. “We’re always watching trends in ice cream, of course, but also related categories like snacks and desserts.”

The company has its classics, but each year they introduce new flavors. This year, Banana Graham, Dark Chocolate Pretzel and S’mores Adventure hit store shelves.

“It’s a fun challenge that we take on. Perry’s is known for our variety of flavors, so we always have the classics like Vanilla Panda Paws. But every year we like to refresh the offerings and bring something new and exciting to the category,” Buryta said.

So, how do your favorite flavors make it to store shelves? The process of making 50,000 gallons a day starts with adding fresh milk from local farms, cream and sugars to an ice cream mix before pasteurizing and homogenizing – one batch at a time. After the flavor is added, the ice cream goes into the container. Then, things take a chilly turn in a blast freeze.

“It’s very important to quick freeze the product,” Perry said. “That’s a 35 degree below zero, 80 below wind chill room that will freeze the product in six to eight hours to a temperature of about five below zero.”

Perry said over the course of the company, one constant they’ve dealt with is change. After 105 years, some changes are coming to the company again – this time, with an $18 million plant expansion. It includes a roughly 20,000 square foot addition to the factory, which will focus on upscale ice cream bars. The company expects to have the product in stores this winter.

In the meantime, Western New York’s number one ice cream brand continues to work on its dozens of flavors and many products, always one batch at a time.

“You have to have a quality product, no matter who you are,” Perry said. “People always try it, but if it isn’t good, people aren’t going to come back.”

If you have any ideas where we should go Behind the Scenes next, please email us at

Marlee Tuskes is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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