Bassett’s Ice Cream (Pennsylvania state) : The oldest ice cream company in the United States


( A fifth-generation family business in Philadelphia, Bassetts Ice Cream is proudly known as America’s oldest ice cream company.

This full-service frozen dessert distributor exclusively uses Pennsylvania milk in its products, and distributes ice cream around the nation and the world.

Bassetts Ice Cream got its start back in 1861, when my great-great-great grandfather started making ice cream by mule power in New Jersey. He would take his finished product to the farmers markets in Philadelphia, and due to popular demand, he opened a shop at 5th and Market Streets in 1885. When the Reading Terminal Market opened in 1892, he opened a retail store there, and we’ve been there ever since.

Alex Bassett Strange, an Account Executive at Bassetts Ice Cream who is the sixth generation in his family to join the company


Some things have changed over the years, but the 125-year-old marble countertop remains at this store. We pride ourselves on our rich history and heritage, and the recipe we use for our ice cream today was developed by my great grandfather.

In addition to our store at Reading Terminal Market, we sell to independent dipping parlors, restaurants, country clubs, and retirement communities. We also have an international presence: thanks to a connection made at an international business networking event, we have been selling ice cream in China since 2008.

Most recently, we started selling in Korea in June 2017. This stemmed from a fellow merchant at Reading Terminal Market sharing that they might have an opportunity to bring Bassetts Ice Cream to Korea. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture connected us with the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) authorized trade representative in Korea, who helped us launch our business there. DCED’s authorized trade representatives (ATRs) are housed within DCED’s Office of International Business Development and were instrumental in collaborating with Bassetts to review the local rules and regulations in Korea, including its manufacturing facility registration at Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Bassetts Ice Cream Korea targets opening an additional 15 stores nationwide by the end of August 2017 to fulfill the demands of Korean consumers’ premium ice cream, which will in turn increase the shipment from Philadelphia, PA to South Korea.

According to

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