Heggy's Ice Cream History
Since 1950, Canton patrons have enjoyed homemade premium small batch Heggy’s ice cream on cones, in milk shakes, sodas, malts and of course sundaes. To stand out among other ice cream shops in 1950, Heggy’s chose rich 14% butterfat ice cream mix putting it into the premium classification while others used less expensive 12%, 10% or even less. The first ice cream maker was Forest "Fat" Sundheimer who made ice cream every day for sixteen years. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and butter pecan made up about ninety percent of the production with other flavors like chocolate chip, cherry vanilla, orange pineapple and peppermint stick filling out the menu. For the first twenty years, most carry out ice cream was sold in hand packed quarts and pints. Hand packing compressed some of the air in the ice cream making it smoother and creamier.
Clyde Burfield took over production in 1967 beginning the second generation of Heggy’s ice cream. Upon graduating from Fairless High School, he became full time candy maker for Ben Heggy’s providing him with a solid foundation in crafting sweet treats. As national brands introduced new variations of vanilla and chocolate by incorporating textures like cookies, chunks, swirls and fruits, Heggy’s joined in. Cookies and Cream and Cookie Dough quickly became top sellers. Half gallon cartons replaced hand packed ice cream during those years.
In 2016, Heggy’s began its third generation with Lori Fernandez taking over the majority of production from Clyde. An orthopedic surgical nurse by day, Lori is eager to put a new spin on a great brand. She’ll use the same rich cream content but add a new push towards artisan flavors incorporating delicious ingredients produced by Heggy’s such as caramel, various fudges, nut butters and of course fresh roasted nuts. New 1.5 quart packaging, consistent with industry practices is now on display in the store. In the artisan category, Heggy’s will feature collaborations with locally sourced ingredients and brands, some savory and of course, all delicious.
Nearly seventy years later, the hot fudge sundae with salted pecans still reigns supreme. The fudge is made locally by Ben Heggy’s and the nuts are fresh roasted placing it among the best sundaes sold. But don’t be afraid to try something new on your next visit to Heggy’s.