Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sweet History in El Monte and Rosemead

Thrifty Ice Cream plant, located in El Monte, is a creamery celebrating 70 years in operation this year.  I see the eye-catching sign on my way to the credit union.  The ice cream plant is about half a block away from Supervisor Gloria Molina's field office, near a forest of beautiful trees.  There is something comforting about the plant, aside from the cute sign.  The place has a very clean exterior, very neat and tidy.  It is good to know that there is manufacturing going on in Los Angeles County, and that it is sustaining a set of employees who have probably raised several generations since the plant opened in 1940.

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour


Farrell's had a restaurant in Rosemead on the west side of Rosemead Boulevard, just south of Valley Boulevard, and it looked similar to the one above. I remember going there in the mid-1970s. (Image from Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants)

Today, the site is a popular Chinese seafood restaurant.  (Click on images to zoom in)
[Update 11-2016:  Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant is listed in Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants 2016 at number 88 - phew - number 88 is a good number.  The guide describes Sea Harbour as the Hong Kong equivalent of Spago.]

Upon driving into the parking lot of the seafood restaurant there is a large rooster (I think) to greet you. Could this be leftover from Farrell's?  Or left behind from another Chinese restaurant at this location?

Today Farrell's is making a comeback in Orange County.  Farrell's obtains their ice cream from ...Thrifty's!


  1. I hope Thrifty Ice Cream survives for a long time! Another long time favorite Los Angelus Ice Cream was Balain Ice Cream. They provided all those little cups and wood spoons to schools and neighborhood stores for decades, until the early 80's. The Balian Ice Cream factory was located on Olympic Blvd about two blocks east of the old Sears store/warehouse on Soto Street.

  2. Thanks BeachDude - now I remember the ice cream cups and the spoons!

  3. Looking for articles describing Morgan's Ice Cream, formerly located on Valley Blvd in Rosemead. It was a family owned landmark location that made its own ice cream on the premises and served it in small parlor facing the boulevard. The ice cream was superb and was an award winner.

    1. Mr Mogan was my neighbor on Arica Ave.. I remember he would handout chocolate covered orange ice cream on halloween. I would go back 2 or 3 times thinking he didn't realize it. I also remember his ice cream trucks being parked in his driveway.