Our Story

Knudsen's Ice Creamery and Chocolate Factory - Castro Valley Ice Cream


Dave & Kathy Knudsen were married in January of 1967.  In August of 1968 they purchased a small Ice Cream Store on 32nd and Clement Street in San Francisco.  That store was sold in the summer of 1973.
 
In August 1973 they purchased The Candy Factory located in Southland Mall in Hayward, California.  Over the next 25 years this business grew from a small 650 square foot candy store in the Mall to an 18,000 square foot “real” candy factory and a 20,000 square foot candy distribution center.  Both of these locations were located in Hayward.  Our gourmet chocolates were sold in a great many candy stores throughout the western United States and several stores in Hawaii and on the island of Guam.
 
Throughout most of Dave & Kathy's 44 years of marriage, they have worked side by side creating their successful businesses.  Part of the reason for their success was the fact that during most of the 35 years in the candy business they were assisted by all four of their children and by one son-in-law.  For many years sons Tod & Jay, daughter Vicki and her husband John Cosgrove worked with Dave and Kathy.  Son Ty worked earlier in the retail store but married a Southern California girl and moved south.  For over 10 years 6 people in the Knudsen family worked together building the business until it was sold in 2001.  
 
I guess the rest is history in the making.  The Ice Creamery had been closed for a year and needed a new caretaker.  Dave & Kathy leased the building, completely remodeled the ice cream store, added a working candy factory, and reopened the business in the spring of 2004.
 
All of our candies are made right here where you can see the process.  Our recipes have been tried, tested and improved over the last 30 years.  We use only the finest ingredients in order to bring you the freshest and most delicious candies available.  On your way out stop by the candy counter and watch the candy maker.  Then try a sample of one of our gourmet candies.  Never has there been a better Peanut Brittle or English Toffee then you will find at our counter.  Ingredients such as creamery fresh butter and pure Madagascar vanilla give the unforgettable flavor.  Love and care go into every single batch of wonderful candy that is made at Knudsen's.
 
As of the fall of 2005, Dave & Kathy, began the process of preparing for retirement.  Son-in-law, John Cosgrove, made the decision to become a partner with Dave & Kathy.  The Ice Creamery then began to make it's own ice cream.  This made it possible to make new products, such as the Lactose-free Sorbets and “No Sugar Added” ice cream.  Unfortunately, in July of 2010, John lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and he was taken from us.  Dave & Kathy's retirement was again put on hold.  
 
Our two grand-daughters, Shay and Taryn are now the managing partners.  Shay comes with management experience from Applebee's  Restaurant and is our General Manager.  Taryn learned to make ice cream from our dear John before he left us, and she has taken our ice cream to the NICRA  (National Ice Cream Retailers Association) convention, where our vanilla ice cream won second place in the national contest. Kathy and I are very proud of these two special girls and we know The Ice Creamery will survive for a lot of years.
   
If you go back to a dairy farm in Denmark, Dave's family has been in the food business for over 125 years.  Dave's father ran a meat market and grocery store in Omaha for 53 years.  Dave & Kathy have been in the ice cream and candy business for 44 years.  The family motto, “Our best is for you” was born in the early 1900's and has been our inspiration ever since.  The delivery truck on our
T-shirts is exactly like the one Dave's father used to deliver groceries back in the 30's.
Knudsen's Ice Creamery