Philosophy: How to make ice cream to melt away

Very often, progress means change. But progress can also mean remembering your roots. And realising the importance of centuries of tradition, authentic artisanship and natural ingredients in an increasingly industrialised world. That’s the kind of progress we want for our customers.

And it’s why the quality of our products is so important. It’s also the reason why we’ve never changed our secret family recipe since we started our business.

Because all of our ice cream is made by hand, we’re happy to show you what we do. You’re always welcome to watch as we prepare your ice cream – freshly handmade, every time. We like to see our customers, too, and especially see the look on the little ones’ faces as we hand over their Schmalhaus ice cream.

Come and visit us. For pure, honest ice cream that’s made with love. We promise you: you’ll taste the difference.


Quality: A 100-year-old recipe. For ice cream that’s ready in only 60 minutes at the most.

When you taste a Schmalhaus ice cream, you’re also reliving part of our family tradition.

For more than 100 years, quality has been at the heart of our company’s philosophy. That quality doesn’t just come from what we put into our ice cream. It also comes from what we leave out. No artificial colours, no preservatives, no long periods in the deep freeze, and no deliveries from place to place that might let the ice cream defrost. Instead, we produce our ice cream right where we serve it.

As a food producer, we don’t just fulfil our statutory obligations but make sure we exceed them. And we take full responsibility for ensuring our production, supply and sales facilities are kept impeccably clean by sending our staff for regular hygiene training, keeping washing and drainage sinks separate, having our drinking water hoses tested and certified, equipping each ice cream maker with a thermometer and selecting our suppliers with care.

Our ice cream is produced by hand before your very eyes. Right there on our own ice cream stall, using original BOKU ice cream machines to freshly prepare a new batch every 60 minutes. And always following the same recipe – one that hasn’t been changed in six generations.


History: A true story of ice cream

Our story begins in 1860. In Buschhausen, a suburb of Oberhausen, Wilhelm Schmalhaus set up his own patisserie, supplying cakes to cafes and other catering businesses. His creations soon became so popular that he hit upon the idea of selling them himself at public events.

Around 1900, Wilhelm’s son Hermann Schmalhaus, together with his wife Anna and their six sons, made the decision to sell their wares only at fairs and shows. From his mobile waffle bakery, Hermann could satisfy his customers’ every desire: from crispy waffles and silky Rhineland-style pastries to delicious doughnuts. Over the next few years, the family invested in their own ice cream maker, which in those days had to be kept cool in a vat full of large blocks of ice. Before long, the ice cream, served with the family’s homemade waffles, became a hit.

During the war, the Schmalhaus family business was almost completely destroyed. Hermann’s son Wilhelm Schmalhaus – now an adult – plucked up his courage and, despite all the obstacles, decided to make a new start. In view of the increasing success of the family’s ice cream in the pre-war years, Wilhelm decided to focus all of the firm’s efforts on the production of fresh ice cream. Initially, he purchased a simple ice cream kiosk before going on to invest in a larger mobile ice cream stall which he transported from event to event with his wife Pauline and their two daughters.

In the 1960s, one of these daughters, Erna Krenz (née Schmalhaus), took over and successfully developed her father’s ice cream business. Her son, Klaus Krenz, then went on to operate the ice cream stall with his wife Elli from the early 1980s onwards. It fell to their son Kristoffer Krenz to increase the size of the family business when, in 2005, he began operating the family’s second mobile ice cream stall, an important milestone in the continuing growth of the business.

To this day, the Schmalhaus family firm is still based in Oberhausen. And the family’s recipe for its ice cream is still being passed on to each new generation. In fact, only two people know the secret Schmalhaus recipe.

Our company history in pictures