Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream Names Former Wetzel’s Pretzels Chief as New CEO

by Katie Lee

Canfield, Ohio — Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, a leading operator and franchisor serving handcrafted ice cream since 1945, has named Jennifer Schuler as its new chief executive officer. Schuler is taking the helm of a nearly 130-store brand with more than 65 franchisees.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Jennifer to Handel’s. We found her highly relevant and proven capabilities and experience, combined with her strong focus on franchisee success, was a terrific fit for Handel’s. She is a highly talented and people-oriented franchise leader who brings great passion and authenticity to her work, and she had fallen in love with Handel’s Ice Cream before we had even met her!” says Andrew Brennan, board member for Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream. “We have terrific momentum and a very bright future.”

Prior to Handel’s, Schuler was most recently at Wetzel’s Pretzels, where she spent 9 years growing the brand. She first served as chief marketing officer, then as president, and, in the last 5 years of her tenure, as CEO. During her time as CEO, Wetzel’s grew its store count from 200 to 350 units and average unit volume grew by 24%, just under $1 million. As part of her journey at Wetzel’s, Schuler and her husband also became franchisees in the system, purchasing a franchise in Minneapolis, which gave her first-hand experience running a franchise and understanding what tools and support she needed from the franchisor to be successful.

In recent years, Handel’s system sales rose from $29 million in 2019 to over $130 million expected in 2024. Growth has come through continued success in both existing and new markets, with individual stores growing healthily at the same time as store count has been growing.

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream was founded in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1945. The Handel’s legacy was created by Alice Handel and Lenny Fisher, who grew the brand from a single Scoop Shop into a flourishing chain. Each batch of Handel’s ice cream is made fresh daily, using Alice’s original methods and recipes. There are 48 flavors available daily and more than 140 flavors that rotate seasonally.

Handel’s currently has 129 locations across 13 states and growing, including recent expansion into South Carolina. The brand opened a flagship store in Clemson, S.C., earlier this year. For more information, visit www.handelsicecream.com/franchise and www.handelsicecream.com.

SOURCE: Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream

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