OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Family members and friends are mourning the loss of the founder of a popular Oklahoma ice cream shop.
On Monday, William Henry Braum, the founder of Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores, passed away at his home in Tuttle.
Throughout his life, Braum was a dairyman, farmer, processor, manufacturer, and retailer of dairy products.
He was born in Kansas in 1928. As a child, he worked alongside his father in the family business, a small butter and milk processing plant.
After graduating from the University of Kansas, he went to work full-time for his father. Three years later, they decided to specialize in retail stores and sold the wholesale part of the business. Afterward, they soon opened “Peter Pan Ice Cream.”
In 1957, Bill’s father sold him the business. Within 10 years, he expanded to 61 stores.
In 1967, a wholesale company bought the retail stores, but Braum kept the processing plant, farm, and dairy herd.
Bill immediately began building stores in Oklahoma under the name “Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores,” opening 22 stores in 1968.
Three years later, there were 40 stores and a new plant in Oklahoma City.
Now, the Tuttle farm consists of a bakery, a dairy, processing plant, a milking facility, and a few thousand baby calves. The Braum family also operates a second milking operation on the Braum Farm located on the border of Shattuck, Oklahoma and Follett, Texas.
According to a release by Braum’s, Bill had three families he loved and cherished; the family he had with Mary, his wife of 71 years; the family of all the Braum’s workers that brought him so much happiness; and his final family, all the customers that loved his products and understood how hard he worked to bring them the best products at the best values.