Dreaming for More at Central Dairy

Food & Drink / Stories / July 10, 2017

Enjoy extra fun facts about the legendary Central Dairy and its ice cream parlor in this special online article.

Check out additional photos from HER Magazine staff’s visit to Central Dairy for the July/August  2017 article “We All Scream for Ice Cream,” including the construction of the parlor’s delectable banana split.

Central Dairy Fun Facts

• Dot Sappington established Central Dairy in 1920 in Columbia in 1920. However, it moved its products for resale to Jefferson City, building a new plant and the now legendary ice cream parlor at 610 Madison St. in 1933.

• Leo and Tulah Hackman became co-owners of Central Dairy in 1961 with Wilbur Davis.

• Central Dairy is widely known for many products, including its 50 flavors of ice cream and sherbet, and milk. They also sell a variety of other dairy products including sour cream, chip ’n dip, cottage cheese, orange juice and egg nog.

• According to Central Dairy General Manager Chris Hackman, the company directly services about a 100-mile radius with products from its Jefferson City location. He said they also have distributors and other branches of Central Dairy that serve in other states such as Oklahoma and Kentucky. Their products are also in several different states.

• Hackman helped develop one of Central Dairy’s most popular specialty flavors, Tiger Tracks, which infuses crushed up chocolate coated Oreo cookie pieces, chocolate truffles and fudge ribbon into its classic vanilla ice cream.

• Coming up with new ice cream flavors is a process and is “always tough,” according to Hackman. He said the “flavor houses” combine flavors with ribbons (like chocolate, butterscotch or caramel) and inclusions (like nuts, chocolate chips or Oreo cookie). “Then you try to envision in your mind what you think it will be like together in the finished product. The best part is tasting it,” Hackman said with a smile, noting his production team gets together and samples new flavors.

• Some flavors don’t say what it is and others give the flavor away in its namesake. “We made a flavor one time called Muddy Sneakers. It was a very good seller, but what is Muddy Sneakers? Tiger Tracks is the same way, and we had another called Muddy River,” Hackman said.

• Outside of selecting from a variety of Central Dairy’s delectable ice cream flavors or its signature mammoth banana split at its historic parlor, hungry guests can also try two other local favorites. The Hawaiian Split is made with orange, pineapple and raspberry sherbet, banana, strawberry, pineapple topping and whipped cream, and the Rock & Roll has vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and black walnut ice cream, banana, marshmallow, strawberry topping and nuts. Seven different sundae specials are served up at the parlor, including the popular The Rock, Bosa Nova and Smoothie. Hot snacks like hot dog and Polish sausage sandwiches are also on the menu.

• For Hackman, he doesn’t have one ice cream flavor or treat he gets all the time. He likes more of a variety, much like what Central Dairy and its ice cream parlor offers its customers. “I like having the option of different flavors every day,” he added.

Central Dairy is located at 610 Madison St. For more information, call 573-635-6148 or visit CentralDairy.biz.

HER-Central Dairy 03
(Photo by Julie Smith) A delicious portion of sliced bananas make the base of Central Dairy's banana split.
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Madeleine Leroux

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