Australian started out as a small shop in Knokke. It has since evolved into a Belgian and international chain. Travel back to 1989 to discover how it all began:
Experimenting with an old-fashioned ice cream maker
Opening 1st shop Knokke
Opening second store De Panne
Opening of first franchise De Haan
First Belgian inland store
First Fred’s store in Luxembourg
30 Years of existence
Australian Home Made Ice Cream is a large family of small, self-employed franchisees. The story begins in 1983, when Frederik Van Isacker starts experimenting with an old-fashioned ice cream maker to develop the perfect recipe. It’s an ice cream maker with a history. Indeed, Frederik’s grandfather formerly used it in his seaside hotel.
A few years later, in 1989, the very first store opens on the corner of Lippenslaan and Dumortierlaan in Knokke. Frederik has just returned from a honeymoon spent visiting family in Australia. While there, he reveals his plans for an ice cream shop to his godmother. His first season is an instant success, and she decides to give him a financial boost to continue expanding his business. Thus, with a nod to Frederik’s proud Australian godmother, Australian Home Made Ice Cream is born.
That first season benefits from exceptionally clement weather. The old-fashioned ice cream maker from the Saint Georges hotel is churning out freshly prepared ice cream in the shop on a daily basis. Frederik sells so many ice creams during the course of the day, that he only has time to bake the cones at night.
New stores soon follow in other seaside towns, including De Panne and Koksijde. The company’s huge success leads to the creation of a franchise model. The first store in inland Belgium opens at the beginning of the 21st century, in Woluwe Shopping Center. With some 38 stores dotted throughout Belgium, Australian is a tried and trusted brand.
Frederik now begins targeting the foreign market with his second brand, Fred’s. In addition to the head office and stores in Luxembourg, there are outlets in France and plans for Spain and the Caribbean. They might operate as separate companies, but Australian and Fred’s both share the same philosophy. And, together, they’re ready to conquer the world.
In 2019, the company celebrates its 30th anniversary with the arrival of daughter, Delphine Van Isacker. She’s just back from a round-the-world trip and her life-changing experiences breathe new life into the business. In the meantime, works flat-out on a breakthrough in France, and the activities of Australian Ice are centralized in Zaventem.
With an artistic creative like Frederik Van Isacker behind it, Australian Home Made Ice Cream certainly has plenty of experience to fall back on. And Delphine’s forward-looking mindset is keeping the company firmly focused on the challenges of the future, without losing sight of the quality of their products.