Cronin's History

Cronin's Ice Cream began through the marriage of two ice cream families. In 1952 our grandfather, Charles Cronin Jr., married Marilyn Welch, uniting Doughty Ice Cream Co. with Jersey Ice Cream Co. , and Cronin's Ice Cream was born. 


The Doughty Ice Cream Company began in 1883 when our great-great Grandfather, Frank Nathan Doughty and his wife Amanda Smith, began selling ice cream in Cottage City (later named Oak Bluffs) on Martha's Vineyard. Here, they became the first people to market coffee-flavored ice cream. Then, in 1896, Frank moved to East Providence,  and over the next 10 years, Frank's son Floyd would join the business as an ice cream manufacturer and caterer. In 1918, our great-grandfather Carlton Welch, joined the business and would later marry Mildred Doughty, carrying on the ice cream legacy in Marilyn Welch.


On the Cronin side, in January 1927, Mr. Charles A. Cronin, president of the Jersey Ice Cream Company oversaw the delivery of the first-ever shipment of ice cream from Lawrence, MA to Saint Petersburg, FL. Determined to ship our ice cream to Florida for his valued customer, Mr. Cronin contacted the Zero Refrigeration Company’s engineers in an effort to bring his product to a broader audience. Zero Refrigeration developed a mechanically refrigerated unit with automatic temperature control that was loaded with 1,000 gallons of ice cream at the Jersey Ice Cream plant in Lawrence. From there, it was packed onto a boat and shipped to St. Petersburg, where it arrived in perfect condition and with a temperature reading of five degrees below zero. If it was going to be done in 1927, it was going to be Charles Cronin that did it. Within a short period of time, ten of these refrigerators made regular trips to tropical Florida, carrying cooling refreshment to America’s winter playground and opening the door to ice cream production in the winter.

   Cronin's Ice Cream, Inc. 

Charles Cronin Sr. at Jersey Ice Cream Co. circa 1932.

Cronin's Today

Zero Refrigeration made it possible! Original photos, article and telegram from the very fist delivery of ice cream from Massachusetts to Florida in Zero Refrigeration freezer trucks in 1927

Cronin's Ice Cream is a family-owned and operated company that has provided high quality frozen goods partnered with unsurpassed service since its origin. For over 5 generations, we have been committed to delivering first-rate products to our customers, and understand the importance of receiving your ice cream on time and in perfect form. 

Today, Cronin's Ice Cream continues Mr. Cronin's spirit of ingenuity and dedication to delivering local products to a broad audience. We carry over 3,500 items ranging from bulk ice cream, novelties, and specialty items, to ice cream toppings and cones, frozen baked goods and dinner items, and so much more! Most of our ice cream products are manufactured right here in Massachusetts! We are proud distributors of: HP Hood, Bart's Homemade Ice Cream, Richie's Slush, Gifford's Famous Ice Cream, Royal Ice Cream, Philip R's Specialty Products, Tofutti, and Cold Fusion, to name a few! We deliver over 15 brands from Maine to Connecticut. 


Cronin's also continues to sell Cronin's Ice Cream, with the same old fashioned quality as Doughty Ice Cream Company over 5 generations ago. Our ice cream is available in bulk tubs in over 15 flavors, and contains 14-16% butterfat. We also make specialty flavors to order, and offer a line of Cronin's sorbets! Order your Cronin's Ice Cream today!


Cronin's Ice Cream is a proud member of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association.