You won't want to miss this historic sweet frozen treat. It is worth a road trip!
Hank's Frozen Custard in Conneaut Lake, PA has quite a history, but what sets their sweet treat apart from other frozen custards are the 1947 machines they use to make the tasty, creamy custard.
Hank doesn't work here and never has, but Ryan Hild does, the grandson of Marg and Ernie Hild, who first opened the frozen custard stand June 4, 1952 taking in $4.05 that day.
HISTORY . . . They named their new business after Marg's father Henry, whose nickname was Hank. In 1947 Hank had opened Hank's Frozen Custard in new Brighton, PA. It was doing quite well and Ernie was looking for a new job so they opened their own stand far enough away as to not compete with Hank . . . and that was in Conneaut Lake where they knew they would draw business from weekend people staying in cottages and those visiting Conneaut Lake Amusement Park.
The couple ran the business until 1975. Their three children Peg, Judy and Rick all worked making the frozen custard while attending school in Meadville. Rick returned to help run the business and eventually he and his wife Linda bought the business and ran it until 2000. Their children Christie and Ryan had worked there while attending school and after Ryan graduated from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, he joined as a partner and eventually bought the business and is sole owner of Hank's today.
Hank's is one of those places you wish you had in your town. It is special to those who lived there long ago and those that live there today . . . it is a hometown thing you don't want to miss.
Ryan said it is really all about the 1947 machines they use. That is what makes it so creamy.
They are gravity fed so there is no air pressure and there is no a pumping it up with air, it goes in the back and comes out the front and that is what creates that smooth consistency.
Hank's offers four flavors each day. Due to allergies they can't keep flipping back and forth on flavors. The machines have to come totally apart to be cleaned every night. They have vanilla, chocolate, one special flavor and one sherbet each day. Some of those special flavors include Black Cherry, Cake Batter, Black Walnut, Cappuccino, Pumpkin, Strawberry, Butterscotch, Peanut Butter and more. The creamy sensations are available until two weeks after Labor Day and they open again before Easter each year.
Don't limit yourself to a cone or sundae, although why not, they are great, but every Hank's milkshake is made by hand. They begin with their special extra thick milkshake base, add whole Vitamin D milk and then large scoops of vanilla or chocolate custard (depending on the flavor) and then add the syrups to flavor. The combination is then mixed on old fashioned milkshake machines. At Hank's they are good at mixing requests!
Milkshake flavors include Chocolate, Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint, Strawberry, Pineapple, Black Raspberry, Banana, Root Beer, Butterscotch, Black Cherry and the newest creation . . . Salted Caramel.
You will find the treats at 13940 Conneaut Lake Road, Conneaut Lake, PA 16316. Visit www.hanksfrozencustard.com for times they are open and a flavor schedule. That way you won't miss your favorite!
NOTE: Hank's in New Brighton is no longer in the family but Ryan said the owner is a good guy and they have a good relationship with him. The New Brighton Hank's also sells Mexican Food, Ryan said they have Mexican on one side and custard on the other which is a weird combo that his grandparents started and it works, and it is really good.