Customers LOVE to tell us stories all the time, about how they remember coming to Fran-Ceil’s for frozen custard when they were little kids, way back when…
FRAN-CEIL’s was established in the early 1950s serving frozen custard treats to the people of Blasdell, Lackawanna, and the surrounding areas of Hamburg, South Buffalo, and Orchard Park.
What’s in a name?
Frenchy’s, FranCeil, Fran AND Ceils, Fran-Ceils French Custard, etc…
Fran n Ceils (Fran & ‘seals’) is how we say it. From what we’ve been told, the original owners in the 1950’s were brothers-in-law, who named the ice cream store after their wives: sisters whose names were Frances and Celia… Fran and Ceil.
Our family has kept the tradition alive for almost 40 years, serving the same frozen custard, and even using the original HOMEMADE SHERBET recipe that was passed on to us.
Whatever you call us, we’re sure you’ll enjoy our treats!
WKBW Channel 7 Buffalo Interview with Fran-Ceil Custard
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT our 2012 interview with WKBW Channel 7, below, and scroll down for even more details about how we came to be!
Letter from Michael Bordonaro, Son of Original Owners
For some touching and nostalgic memories of the history of our establishment in the Blasdell area, please read the following letter sent to us from Mr. Michael Bordonaro, son of the original “Ceil”:
“July 12, 2010
My name is Michael Bordonaro. I googled ‘Fran Ceil French Custard’ and came upon your web site. I found your ‘ABOUT US’ page a very interesting read. When I was growing up we simply referred to ‘Fran Ceil’s French Custard’ as ‘the stand.’ I have many many memories of the stand. The cherry sundaes were one of my memories. Also, years ago they used to serve the hot fudge sundaes with Peerco Hot Fudge. I’m pretty sure that brand is no longer available. It was the best hot fudge. Had a flavor all its own. Also, the butterscotch dip for the dipped cones was delicious.
Nice to see your web site!
Oh, and by the way, I failed to mention… Ceil was my mother. She passed away this past January. Your ‘About Us’ page mentioned that two brothers started the business. Well, they were actually brothers-in-law. My mother Celia and Aunt Frances were sisters. My dad (Michael) and Uncle Tony named the place after them.
This pic is actually from the 50s. Not sure exactly which year. I know my dad and uncle started the business in 1953 (I could be off a year). Back then the custard was referred to as ‘French’ custard because of the amount of egg yolks that were used to make the custard. I remember my mom (Celia) always saying that their custard was better than Anderson’s because it was richer and more flavorful. Actually, one of the old custard machines that was still there when my Uncle Tony sold it to your family was bought from Carl Anderson.
The sign on top of this picture was the one I always remember as a kid. During the blizzard of ’77 this sign actually blew off the building and ended up on Autumn Lane. It’s still a joke in our family that the boy on the sign is an exact depiction of my cousin Charlie. Charlie is Fran’s son.
If you look to the left side of the picture you can see the old milk can. This is how I remember the custard being delivered to the stand. I think it was J. Beres and Son Dairy that used to supply the custard to the stand.
My mom and dad were only partners with my aunt and uncle for a couple years. Back then the business wasn’t enough to support two families so my dad and mom sold out. My uncle Tony and Aunt Frances ran the business until around 1980.
Hope you like the photo. Maybe I can come up with more. BTW: I added the pic to the Fran Ceil Facebook page.