Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal

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Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Wed, 10/8/08 1:37 PM
Any Calif resident pre-1990s surely knows about the legendary Thrifty ice cream and their stands within the Thrifty Drug & Discount Store chain. Thrifty's as everyone called it was ahead of the curve when it came to drug and discount stores carrying a wide variety of merchandise after WW2 that eventually became the staple of the chains such as Walgreen, CVS, Eckerd's, Rite Aid et al

The magical side of Thrifty's was their ice cream, they had a wide variety of flavors and revolving flavors of the month, excellent ice cream that won numerous awards at country and state fairs year after year. Each store had a stand inside selling pre-packaged ice creams by the pint or quart for fast service and a walk up counter where they would serve you an ice cream cone, single, double or triple. They would also hand pack the pints and quarts for take out as well.

Until the early 70's the ice cream was only a nickel a scoop. they used it as a loss leader to bring folks in the stores, in the mid-70s it went up to a dime then in the early 80's 15 cents a scoop. The scoops were different, they were cylindrical shaped, big pellets extracted from the tubs with a pistol type scoop and release.

When the chain of Thrifty Drug & Discount store was sold out to the chain of Rite Aid, the Thrifty ice cream being so imbedded into the culture of Cailfornia, especially its home base of So Cal, that Rite Aid continues having the ice cream stands within Rite Aid stores in Califas and they still use the Thrifty brand for the packaged ice cream as well as the freshly served ice cream cones. The Rite Aid outside of Cali don't have that side to them

By the way, Thrifty's always has used buttercup wafer cones as it complements the cylinder shaped scoops.

mayor al
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RE: Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Wed, 10/8/08 1:58 PM

Thank you for bringing back memories of the many times we stopped at Thrifty's for that wonderful Ice Cream...Right up to the time of our move out of SoCal in 2000.

We parked the Penske Truck right in front of the entrance, with the car-carrier tied on behind...blocking most of the front of the store, while we purchased double-dip cones inside.

Many of the flavors available were outstanding. Burgundy Cherry and Rocky Road come to mind, as do Pistashio and Butter pecan and fresh Strawberry. However the all time favorite, and one we would buy by the 1/2 gallon as often as we could was the APRICOT MANGO Sherbet. What a wonderful Apricoty taste on a hot desert day!

Not near as fancy as the ice cream parlors evolving around us today...The Thrifty Ice Cream counter was our link to the great Soda Fountains of the Past !

Russ Jackson
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RE: Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Wed, 10/8/08 7:35 PM
I lived in San Diego for many years and stopped there all the time for a scoop. In the 90s they were 25 cents. How much are they now?

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RE: Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Fri, 10/10/08 5:13 PM
I lived in Redlands from 1974 to 1990. I remember in the 80's you could get a single scoop for 15 cents, a double for 25 cents and a triple for 35 cents or so.
Miss those days.
Also had a place called 'Farrells' or something downtown, they had famous waffle cones.

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RE: Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Tue, 01/27/09 9:36 PM
Rite Aid may not be long for this world. Back in the 90's, I used to work at a Payless Drug Store, which became Rite Aid when they bought out Payless in the mid-90's. Recently I stopped in the store I used to work and the Asst. Manager told me (in whispered tones) that Rite-aid is at the top of the list of stores predicted to close this year. He told me the company had just enough operating budget to last through the end of 2009 and to continue on, they would have to get a big loan from the banks.  He said no banks are making those kind of loans now.
Rite Aid may be going the way of Mervyns', Linens and Things, Circuit City and Woolco.
<message edited by nostalgicfoodguy on Tue, 01/27/09 9:37 PM>

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Re:Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Mon, 06/4/12 1:22 PM
Thrifty Ice Cream Stores are still open in most "Rite Aid" stores.

You can lookup diferent Rite Aid Store locations on

•Connect with Thrifty on:

•We will be posting direct store locations on facebook.

We hope you enjoy Thrifty's famouse ice cream scoops!


Your friends at Thrifty


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Re:Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Mon, 06/4/12 7:31 PM
In AZ, Thrifty Ice Cream is sold in Water n' Ice Stores spread all over the Valley. These stores remind me of the old neighborhood candy stores. People come and fill their water jugs, get ice, Hawaiian Sno Cones, Candy and Ice Cream. 

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Re:Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Tue, 06/5/12 1:55 AM
I still eat Thrity's or as my father called it... Trifties Ice Cream.
It's one of the best deals in town.

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Re:Thrifty ice cream-still going strong in SoCal - Sun, 11/11/12 12:59 AM
As a native Californian I too remember Thrifty brand ice cream with a great deal of fondness...eating it as a child and, as a teen years later, scooping it out for customers. As an adult I find the relatively simple flavors a comfort--nice to see flavor like chocolate, rainbow sherbet, and butter pecan still listed.