Black and white striped awning with Loard's logo

History of Loard's Ice Cream

Black and white photograph of two men - Loard's founders

Original Founders!

For those of us who were born after the 50s, it's likely that real, old-fashioned ice cream wasn't a part of our childhoods. We've all heard our family members talk about how things "used to be" in the past. While some of it may be nostalgia, this is true: ice cream was better. But if you've tasted Loard's before, you'll know what we mean when we say that our ice cream is truly old-fashioned.

We're famous for our irresistibly rich and creamy creations, and our fans will be happy to tell you that it's been like this since day one. The fact of the matter is, we haven't changed our recipes since our founder Russ conjured them up in 1950. We just make really, really good ice cream from the 50s. That's what we're famous for, and that's what we're sticking to.

Larry and Diane Haydon in Loard's holding ice cream cones

Larry & Diane

Loard's Orinda Owners

One day, Larry was having a milkshake for lunch at the Orinda Loard's (which he frequently does) when the manager, Tyler, told him that the owners were moving and urged him to take over. When Larry came home, Diane took one look at his expression, remembered he had been to Loard's and instantly knew that Loard's was for sale.

Loard's long community history and ties, along with its uniquely rich and flavorful ice cream, were an instant draw for the couple. The first Loard's parlor was opened in Oakland in 1950, and the second location opened in 1952 in Orinda. This history is one they are working to preserve and enhance. "We love that it's a local tradition, and we wanted to ensure it stayed that way. We love that it's a place for the local high school and college kids to get their first job," says Larry. When they decided to change the shop's music to exclusively 50s and early 60s music, they were concerned that the young employees wouldn't like it -- but instead, they love it!

Diane and Larry love the community feel of a 50s ice cream parlor, where people can be happy and enjoy themselves. Generations of families have been coming there to have a good time, and Diane and Larry now look forward to maintaining that tradition one cone at a time.