Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Peacock Ice Cream Company, Evanston, Illinois.

Thomas Anton opened Peacock's Dairy Bar in 1936. In 1956 George Bugelas bought the Dairy Bar overlooking Lake Michigan at 1515 Sheridan Road in Wilmette, in an area known as No-Man's Land. Two years later he bought the 32-year-old Peacock Ice Cream Company. 

Bugelas was an ice cream aficionado for more than thirty years, overseeing every aspect of the Peacock Ice Cream Company. He added ice cream parlors in Evanston and Glencoe. The ice cream factory was in Evanston.

He produced several thousand gallons of premium ice cream a week. The ice cream was made in a factory on Sherman Avenue, then later at 2144 Ashland Avenue, both in Evanston. 
Ice cream maker, Bugelas was ahead of his time, creating his own recipes with 16 percent butterfat, fresh fruit, all-natural ingredients and no preservatives at a time before premium ice cream was widely available.

Another Peacock store was on Skokie Highway in Wilmette, just north of Old Orchard Shopping Center.

In addition to his specialty flavors, such as the summer favorite fresh peach, Bugelas created custom flavors for Ravinia, the Drake Hotel, numerous Japanese restaurants other high-end establishments. Beginning in 1976, his chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice creams swept all blue-ribbon competitions in the premium ice cream categories at the Illinois State Fair for 13 consecutive years. Bugelas closed all the retail shops in 1981 to concentrate on the wholesale business.

When his wife became ill in 1992, he closed the business, rather than risk selling it to someone who might dilute the quality of his ice cream. George Christopher Bugelas died on October 5, 2004.


Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

9 comments:

  1. In 1972 or 1973 I had a cone of peppermint ice cream from the shop in Evanston - it was heavenly and remains one of my most memorable ice cream experiences.

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    1. I hope I was working there and served you, maybe. 1972 and 1973

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  2. Thanks for writing and posting. I grew up near Peacocks and remember their peach ice cream so vividly I can almost taste it. It was actually the only way I would eat a peach!

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  3. I wonder when the Peacocks on Sheridan opened and closed.

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  4. I, William O'Connor, Jules Smith, and John Sorgel were at Evanston High School from 1969 to 1973 and worked at Peacocks Ice Cream in Evanston at times during these years. I have memories of Gus, the manager and Alvin the cook. Besides scooping ice cream in front, we were trained by Gus to cook those famous cheeseburgers and grilled cheeses, french fries, deep fried chicken, BLTs' and the list goes on. In the back, the sit-down restaurant had copies of famous artwork on its wall. I was happy to received one, the "Night Watch." It was not until the 1980's in Amsterdam I had seen the original on the walls of the Amsterdam's Rijks Museum in all its grandeur. I still have peacocks "Night Watch" on display in my home. What memories of Peacocks I have.

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  5. I worked at the Shoppe in Skokie in the late 70's

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  6. The shop
    In Evanston in Davis was my first job (1977) I absolutely loved waiting on the elderly regulars from the retirement homes to the east. They had such fascinating stories to tell, and One had an imaginary poodle with her every day. I learned that peppermint ice cream is absolutely delightful in hot coffee and that sundaes and sodas defrost and melt very quickly. I remember there was a courtyard and up until October, patrons could eat outside amidst giant pumpkins. It was an interesting first job.

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    1. I worked there in the mid 1970's. Gus was unpredictable. I remember working there one day and he was as nice as he could be, but then he went on a tirade and told one of the ice cream scoop guys to leave because he gave a free coke to an employee.
      Best ice cream ever. Mocha chip was my favorite. But yes, the peppermint was special.

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  7. Wish the recipe for the famous red punch would show up somewhere. Bought frozen bag of frozen slush and added whatever.

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