The company, as the name indicates, was founded by Mr. Baskin and Mr. Robbins.
Burt Baskin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; he was stationed in the New Hebrides in the South Pacific. The esteemed British explorer, Capt. James Cook, is said to have named the island chain New Hebrides, after the Hebrides archipelago off the west coast of Scotland
The New Hebrides became the independent Republic of Vanuatu in 1980,
after many years of joint rule by France and Britain.
Lt. Baskin worked in the PX in Vanuatu. PX is short for Post Exchange; it is a retail store that sells consumer goods to active duty, reserve, and retired armed forces personnel, as well as their dependents. One of his duties was to find new products to include in the provisions for sale in the PX. Having acquired an ice cream freezer from an aircraft carrier, the enterprising Baskin experimented with creating ice cream flavored with exotic fruits from the islands. His tasty inventions were received favorably by the troops.
Returning to the United States after the war, Baskin was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Irvine Robbins, to open an ice cream parlor in California. Robbins, the son of a dairyman, owned three successful Snowbird ice cream parlors in the Glendale area; his ever-growing clientele enjoyed 21 flavors during a time when most creameries produced only chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors. Baskin opened his Burton ice cream parlor in nearby Pasadena. Soon, both establishments were adding more branches and flavors.
When Snowbird and Burton Ice Cream parlors grew to a total of eight branches, the brothers-in-law decided to merge and sell parlor locations to their store managers. This way, they could concentrate on making good ice cream and promoting the product. Unknowingly, they had pioneered franchising in food service. Within a year of starting this system, Baskin-Robbins had sold 43 franchises in Southern California. Needless to say, this brand is now known the world over.
How did the men decide whose moniker comes first in the company name? Well, by the toss of a coin!
Why do BR ice cream parlors carry 31 flavors? Well, so you can come in every day of the month and enjoy a different flavor each time!
Now, let me ask: what is your favorite flavor of Baskin Robbins ice cream?
I’m afraid I don’t have just one favorite; there’s pralines ‘n’ cream, jamoca, rocky road, rum raisin, strawberry cheesecake, nutty coconut, and many more, hahaha!