Our Story

For those of us who were born after the ‘50s, it’s likely that real old-fashioned ice cream wasn’t a part of our childhoods. We’ve all heard our family members talk about how things “used to be” in the past, and while some of it may be nostalgia, this is true: ice cream was better!

But if you’ve tasted Loard’s before, you’ll know what we mean when we say that our ice cream is truly old-fashioned. We’re famous for our irresistibly rich and creamy creations, and our fans will be happy to tell you that it’s been like this since day one. The fact of the matter is, we haven’t changed our recipes since our founder Russ conjured them up in 1950. We just make really, really good ice cream from the 50’s. That’s what we’re famous for, and that’s what we’re sticking to.

The History of Loard's

Some time after WWII, during the “Golden Age” of America, Russ Salyards decided to leave his administrative job at UC Berkeley and work towards his dream of bringing the best ice cream to the San Francisco Bay Area. With the help of his business partner John, the two carefully crafted an irresistibly creamy confection that they knew would be the best.

On June 22, 1950, Russ opened his first Loard’s parlor at 2825 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland, California. His charm, paired with his inimitable recipes, brought him the type of success he could only dream of. Two years later, Russ made good on his promise and won Gold at the California State Fair’s “Ice Cream and Dairy Products” category.

Over the next two decades, Russ moved his production to San Leandro and single-handedly owned and operated nearly a dozen stores, cruising to and from his stores in his beloved white Cadillac. And although his success grew, he never cashed out on his brand’s name, instead choosing to preserve his integrity by keeping his ingredients premium and his workers happy. Generations later, Russ’s vision still lives on: the recipes are the same, and his original stores in Oakland, Alameda, Castro Valley, Orinda, and Livermore are all still here (along with a couple more), serving the same ice cream, produced from the same plant in San Leandro. Come visit one of our parlors to get a taste of how ice cream used to be!