In August of this year, Lakebay residents were included in the Schwan’s home delivery program. Besides its world-famous ice cream confections, Schwan’s offers more than 350 different selections of flash frozen meals and entrees.
The “Schwan’s story” began in 1948 when Marvin Schwan set out in his van packed with dry ice and 14 gallons of homemade ice cream from his parents’ farm in Marshall, Minn. He sold all of his inventory in one day, and a new home-delivery business was born.
Over the years, the company grew and began offering other foods besides ice cream. In 1970, it bought a frozen pizza plant in Salina, Kan., and began producing the Tony’s pizza brand.
Due to the rising cost of fuel, in 1974 the company started converting most of its 4,800 trucks to cleaner-burning propane. In 1976, the Schwan’s Consumer Brands Division introduced Red Baron pizza; it became the company’s bestselling brand. By 1979, to help market the pizza, a squadron of World War II biplanes was formed. They flew for 28 years, becoming the longest surviving civilian acrobatic team in the United States and carrying more than 80,000 passengers.
Schwan’s acquired Sabatasso Foods, a frozen pizza producer, and the Minh Food Corp., an Asian-style foods producer, in 1986 and would later produce Freschetta pizza. Schwan’s became the sponsor for Schwan’s USA Cup, the largest youth soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere. Schwan’s, already the leader and producer of frozen desserts, also acquired the Mrs. Smith dessert brand.
James Gochmansky, Schwan’s local district manager, was originally from San Diego, Calif., where he had worked for Frito Lay for 22 years when he was recruited by Schwan’s.
“I was approaching midlife and I decided I wanted a new life and new experience,” he said. He went to work for Schwan’s in 2009 and relocated to Puyallup.
Gochmansky and his wife house-hunted around the state for a year, but were always drawn back to the peninsula. After a few visits, they knew they had found their new home in Home and moved in 2010.
Gochmansky said he is proud to be part of the Schwan’s story.
“The company strives to use U.S. products whenever possible. This includes fruits and vegetables from the Northwest which are flash-frozen for optimal flavor and nutrition,” he said.
Schwan’s employs approximately 5,000 people who cover more than 4,000 routes nationwide. Besides desserts, Schwan’s delivers complete frozen meals, a perfect service for shut-ins or those who don’t cook. This includes products for people with special diet needs, like low sodium, no sugar and gluten-free.
Schwan’s representative salesperson on the peninsula is Jeri Hastings, who will provide delivery to your home, school or place of business. Schwan’s also delivers to restaurants.
The Schwan’s Co. believes in giving back to the community and is presently introducing “Schwan’s Cares,” a fundraising network for local teams and groups that provide organizations the opportunity to earn money all year without having to handle money, products or delivery.