Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Off-Ramp Future: Thrifty Ice Cream Visit

Here I am in 1924, enjoying a delicious scoop of ice cream. Tomorrow, I'll be heading to El Monte to visit the Thrifty ice cream plant in El Monte, inspired by Nancy Luna's delicious OC Register article about the company.

Here's her thumbnail history of the brand:

...the heart of Thrifty's business lies within its old-fashioned scoop shops -- nestled inside 599 Rite Aid stores in California. (Rite Aid bought Thrifty in 1997.) In the 1930s, the Borun brothers ran a string of Thrifty Cut-Rate Drug Stores, which were equipped with soda fountains. To maximize profits, the brothers decided to make their own ice cream in-house. They cranked out their first ice cream batch in 1940 inside a small Hollywood factory. A cylinder-shaped stainless steel scooper was introduced a decade later to ensure each scoop was uniform. By the 1970s, Thrifty ice cream was a household name with scoop shops inside drug stores scattered across California. Its most loyal fans fondly recall piling into the family station wagon to get a cone for as little as 5 or 15 cents.

Stay tuned for news about when our Off-Ramp visit to the plant will air. And don't get too jealous. I'm lactose intolerant, taking one for the team.