Updated: Aug 18
So, I'm from Wisconsin. When I tell people that, the first thing they say is "Cheese Head".. Okay I'm good with that. We've got amazing cheese and though some Californians will argue, awesome cows too! What people don't know (unless you have close ties or you yourself are from Wisconsin), is that we have A-M-A-Z-I-N-G frozen custard! Read on (and stop by Nielsen's to learn and taste first-hand)
I drove past Nielsen's Frozen Custard on Eastern Ave in Henderson on several occasions but never had a minute to stop, or it was way too early in the morning (well, I don't mean too early for frozen custard, heck I'd eat it for breakfast in a heartbeat, but they weren't open yet) FINALLY I got my push to head that way after talking with Lindsay the Las Vegas Foodie (read her Vegas Life Magazine issue here ) I'm so glad I made a date with custard! Yep, just like the creamy de-lish decadent dairy treat that I remember from back home! Even though Nielsen’s frozen Custard was founded by Steve Nielsen in 1981 in St. George Utah, (I won't hold that against him), he did a terrific job making it taste just like the tasty treat that l remember back in Milwaukee!
The Nielsen's Frozen Custard in Henderson is owned by husband and wife team, Howie and Amanda Zayon. They have owned the Las Vegas location for a little over 5 years. I sat with them as I enjoyed a huge hot fudge sundae, and in between bites (and the drops of custard on my shirt) we talked a little about their franchise location, family and of course, custard. Amanda says, "The wonderful thing about Nielsen’s is they are still family owned and operated it’s the Nielsen’s and Us! We all have the same family values and work ethic we are all heavily involved in the day-to-day operations. I believe this may be one of the biggest sweet spots we have obtained in our life.
Amanda continues, We are present. We know our Customers. It makes such a huge difference. When you walk through our doors we want you to feel like you stepped back in time. You know, back when owners knew their customers names, knew the family and what they ordered before they got to the register. We love our "Custardmers", we love our employees, we are one big happy family.
Amanda goes on to say: a little background on us personally. Howard came from a computer software sales background and I came from real estate. After several years in our industries we decided it was time to start another business, one we could share with our children. The Nielsen's knew how familiar we were with the brand, and after a lot of questions, meetings and communication, the Nielsen‘s Frozen Custard Family approached us with an offer. We couldn’t have been more excited as we were customers ourselves and couldn’t believe this was even possible to be part of the Nielsen's franchise family. Howie and I just looked at each other and said this is meant to be! We did what we had hoped and brought our children into the business. Our eldest son Brandon 24, worked with us for years and has since gone off to college, our daughter Tatiana 19 currently works with us as a manager and attends college as well. Our little-guy Zachary who is 8 can’t wait until he can work with us, but for right now he is content at being our greeter and taste tester. [hey, I want his job!]
At Nielsen's when you walk in, you'll feel like you've just walked into an Old-School Soda Shop. When you look around you'll see that they have tons of nostalgic items, props and antiques to browse through while you're enjoying your custard treat, some of the wall décor items even have little cards that tell you were the item was featured, in what film or where it originated. When indulging in your custard, know that Nielsen's only uses quality ingredients, like fresh berries and real Oreos. They have options too, cones, sundaes and concretes (think super-thick shake with mix-ins like nuts, berries, bananas, or cookies!) So thick, you'll definitely need a spoon!
Frozen custard is different from ice cream because it is much creamier, doesn't have any icy texture and, well, it's just way more delicious! The process was created by serving the desert at a higher temperature, 26 degrees rather than 10 degrees so it doesn't numb your taste buds when eating it. One of the secrets is that egg yolks are added to the ice cream to help keep it stay cold longer. The custard is made several times throughout the day at Nielsen's to keep it as fresh as possible …well, don't take my word for it, go to Nielsen's and try it for yourself and read on about the real-deal!!
The History of Frozen Custard:
The story goes that the early commercialization of frozen custard was in Coney Island, New York, in 1919, when ice cream vendors Archie and Elton Kohr found that adding egg yolks to ice cream created a smoother texture and helped the ice cream stay cold longer. They're research paid off because in their first weekend on the boardwalk, they sold 18,460 cones. [say WHAT?]
Then in 1933, a frozen custard stand at the World's Fair in Chicago introduced the dessert to a wider audience. Following the fair, the dessert's popularity spread throughout the Midwest; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in particular, became known as the "unofficial frozen custard capital of the world". [see? I toldja!... you don't know? you better ask somebody! Or just google it like I did (ha ha ha)] Per capita, Milwaukee has the highest concentration of frozen custard shops in the world and the city supports a long-standing three-way competition between Kopp's Frozen Custard, Gilles Frozen Custard and Leon's Frozen Custard. [Leon's has my vote... wait, no, Kopp's.. awww, heck, Gilles is good too... ah-hem... right after Nielsen's]
Major frozen custard chains in the United States include Culver's, headquartered in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, with outlets in 20 states; Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, based in Wichita, Kansas, with more than 300 locations nationwide; and Andy's Frozen Custard, based in Springfield, Missouri, with over 70 locations in 13 states. Other chains serving frozen custard include Ted Drewes, Rita's, The Meadows, [Nielsen's of course] and Abbott's.
NIELSEN'S FROZEN CUSTARD
9480 S Eastern Ave #100
open noon-10pm, 7 days per week
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