Ted Drewes has been selling frozen custard for over 80 years and Christmas trees for over 50 years. His attention to quality has set the standard for frozen custard and Christmas trees in St. Louis.
It all started with Ted Drewes Sr., who was a St. Louis attraction, winning the Muny Tennis Championships each year from 1925 to 1936. He also won the National Public Parks Singles title four straight years in the middle of the 1920’s. During the 1930’s he traveled with his family to Florida each winter to continue playing tennis. Ted Sr. opened his first frozen custard store in Florida in 1929. In 1930, he opened another store on Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis and the South Grand store in 1931. In 1941, the family opened a second South Side stand which is the current Chippewa location on historic Route 66. By 1958, the two South Side stands were all that remained.
As the success of the frozen custard business gradually improved, Ted Drewes Jr. decided to expand the size of the Chippewa location from five serving windows to what seemed to be an overwhelming twelve serving windows in 1985. By using the motto, “Our Business Is Service”, Ted has inspired four generations of family members and employees to work hard and pay close attention to the details of the business.
Throughout the years, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard has become a popular treat for St. Louisans and tourists to enjoy after visiting the Arch, the Fox and Muny Theaters, the St. Louis Zoo, or a Cardinal’s baseball game. Along with the delicious hot fudge sundae, Ted’s “concrete” has been the most popular treat at the custard stands. The concrete, which was created in 1959, is a malt or shake so thick that it is served upside down.
Just like Ted’s frozen custard, Ted Drewes Christmas Trees have become a St. Louis tradition. Each fall, Ted or Travis (his son-in-law) travel to their tree farm in Nova Scotia where they personally select and grow the best Canadian Balsam Fir Christmas trees to bring home to St. Louis. “We have people buy their trees from us year after year; and they don’t even know we sell frozen custard!” Ted exclaims.
Ted is very proud of his family business and is known in St. Louis to say, “It really is good, guys… and gals!