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Hibbard's Original Frozen Custard team members Aaron Hannam, Dan Buchner and Gabby Blose celebrate opening day.
Hibbard's Original Frozen Custard team members Aaron Hannam, Dan Buchner and Gabby Blose celebrate opening day.

Hibbard's Original Frozen Custard opens for 85th season

by jmaloni
Fri, Apr 5th 2024 11:00 am

Lewiston landmark debuted in 1939

Left of Center with Joshua Maloni

Wednesday morning, the temperature was 45 degrees, and there was a steady rain.

Not exactly waffle cone weather.

But sure enough, not 10 minutes after Hibbard’s Original Frozen Custard staff switched on the red “Open” sign, people started lining up at the serving windows.

It’s a rite of passage in Lewiston – and one that predates, well, just about everything else.

This summer, the village sweet shop is celebrating its 85th season.

Senior scoopman Dan Buchner said, “It's amazing. We've got people that say, ‘Hey, I've been here for 80 of your 85 years.’ And they're bringing their grandkids or great-grandkids. So, it's a huge tradition – and it's something we're all really proud of.”

Harold Hibbard, who was inspecting the grounds, said the milestone is a testament to his family members – and something that is very special.

To celebrate, Buchner said, “There's going to be all kinds of fun. There's going to be some giveaways pretty much every month. It should be a lot of fun.”

Of course, the big question always involves which foundational flavors patrons can look forward to with each visit.

“Our ‘core four’ again is the chocolate, vanilla, pistachio and black raspberry,” Buchner said.

April and Laila Vandenbosch were the first customers of Hibbard’s Original Frozen Custard’s 85th season. A dish of chocolate custard was the first purchase.

Custard flavors on Wednesday included the “core four” of vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry and pistachio, as well as creamsicle, cherry cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter cup.


Last year, Hibbard’s introduced more than a dozen new custard creations.

“There were some that were really popular,” Buchner said. “Lavender blueberry was a huge hit. The German chocolate cake was a really good one. Bananas Foster was pretty popular.

And don’t forget about the combination of vanilla ice cream (dyed blue), cookie dough pieces and crushed Oreo cookies – more commonly known as “Cookie Monster.” It is “still one of the most requested – that's why (it) runs every other week,” Buchner noted.

This year, “a lot of the focus … is going to be on improving, looking see if there's anything we can improve on that we've done over the years,” Buchner said.

Hibbard’s also offers Perry’s Ice Cream flavors – 19 on opening day – as well as floats and coolers (made with a choice of Pepsi, 7-Up, root beer, “Boston Cooler” or creamsicle).

But the big draw is custard – which can be enjoyed in a cone (waffle, sugar or “Jak’d”), a dish, in a sundae (including hot fudge, butterscotch and turtle), as a milkshake (try the peanut butter or loganberry), or a “Hibbard Hurricane” mashup.

For those not familiar, “Custard generally has a higher butterfat content and it has much less air in it,” Buchner said. “Your average ice cream will hold 50% to 100% air by volume. Custard is about 17%. So, it's a much denser, richer taste and mouth feel.”

Hibbard’s Original Frozen Custard team members Aaron Hannam and Gabby Blose pose inside a custard frame designed by Lewiston artist Maureen Kellick.


Hibbard’s Original Frozen Custard opening hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at 105 Portage Road.

“Come often,” Buchner said. “You know, it's like I said: It's going to be a fun year. It's 85 years. We're super excited for that. We're really proud of that. The family has worked very hard to keep the product and the quality consistent all through the years, and it's something that we'll continue to focus on.”

Mayor Anne Welch said, “Congratulations to Hibbard’s Custard stand on their 85th anniversary! Lewiston’s oldest business. It’s always great to see them open – signs of summer!”

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