Michael, Nate and Darin Farr at factory in Salt Lake City
It began with ice and continues with ice cream—and ice. In between, the Farr family business has stretched over five generations, spread from coast to coast and internationally, became a regular on the White House menu and created a legacy in an industry that touches most every American family. It's a story about much more than just the ice cream products the family is best known for.
Lorin Farr began harvesting ice in Weber County in 1895. He and his son Asael hauled blocks of ice from frozen ponds to an insulated warehouse in downtown Ogden, cutting the frozen slabs with giant saws and storing it for sale in spring and early summer months. Business was brisk, and once Asael's sons Dexter and Lawrence returned to Utah after World War I, a decision was made to incorporate the business. In March of 1920, they constructed the first commercial ice plant in the Intermountain West, selling "sanitary ice" that wasn't harvested from ponds and was free of insects and vegetation. For seven years, the business thrived. Then came the General Electric technology breakthrough.