Company History

Polly’s Freeze, located in Georgetown, Indiana, opened as an ice cream parlor by Polly and Elmer Gleitz in 1952. Before it became an ice cream shop, the building was the Gleitz family residence. It also featured at one point a dance hall and gas station. Eventually, the Gleitzes passed the business on to their daughter, Donna, and her husband, Paul Eisert. 

Donna and Paul continued to run the store until 2015 when former employee Carol Boyle and her husband Glen bought the business. Regardless of the change of hands, Carol and Glen have done a great job keeping it true to its roots. 70 years later (this year!), Polly’s is still serving up a variety of ice cream treats, burgers, and ice-cold beverages in a family-friendly environment.

Competitive Analysis

This business does have plenty of direct and indirect competitors in the ice cream and food stand market. The primary competitors are Zestos, Berry Twist, and Lazy Sundaes. 

  1. Zesto: Zesto started in Atlanta, Georgia, and in the late 50s experienced financial instability. The New Albany, Indiana location was purchased in 1966 and soon became a local landmark. They’ve since expanded Zesto’s footprint by opening two franchises (Zesto), two ice cream-specific stores (Chillers), and two restaurants (Chill Burger). Zesto’s has more capital than Polly’s just by the sheer volume of stores, and they also offer a drive-thru, unlike Polly’s Freeze. 
  2. Berry Twist: Berry Twist opened in 1978 in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, and has a very similar story to Polly’s Freeze. The business was owned by two local families and in 2017 a former employee took over and has kept the operations virtually the same. Berry Twist has only one location but does offer a drive-thru option.
  3. Lazy Sundaes: Lazy Sundaes has been rebranded a few times, first starting as a local drive-thru restaurant known as AJs that served chili dogs and gyros. They rebranded in 2019 and now offer the same food as before, but with ice cream options as well. They’re located just down the road from Polly’s in Georgetown, Indiana. Lazy Sundaes has one location and offers a drive-thru option. 

They also have direct competition from big chains such as Dairy Queen, Culvers, Graeters, Baskin Robins, and Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen. Other indirect competitors for Polly’s would be grocery stores such as Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Target.

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