Velvet Freeze was founded by Jacob Martin and Alexander and Oscar Grosberg in 1932. They registered the business name in 1935. The Grosbergs emigrated from Poland as kids. Martin emigrated from Russia.Martin retired in 1964 at the age of 75. His 1983 obituary said when he retired, Velvet Freeze had 250 locations and four manufacturing plants.
Photo Above: 1950's view along Gravois (intersection of Utah just south).
By 1936, Velvet Freeze had 50 stores in the Greater St. Louis area. In 1941, they modernized their original store and plant at 3230 Gravois and constructed a two-story warehouse, with the iconic Velvet Freeze sign attached to a projecting tower. In 1942, an 18-foot fiberglass double-dip ice cream cone was created to stand in front of the building.
The company-owned stores all closed in 1986 and 1987. The St. Louis factory and headquarters closed about a year later, in 1986, and what remained of the company outsourced ice cream production to Pevely Dairy.
Photo Above: Velvet Freeze Plant, 3230 Gravois St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 18, 1988.
After suffering a fire, the plant and headquarter store was demolished. Auto Zone now occupies the land.