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Custard never goes out of style at Fritz’s, now celebrating its 25th year

By: Bonnie Krueger


General Managers Gene Anselmo and Angela Kyle [left] with Fritz’s Owners Ray and Debbie Higgins. Not pictured General Manager Lindsay Barnes.

The long wait is over. A chilly day did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of opening day on March 3 for Fritz’s West County, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2018.
Ray and Debbie Higgins opened Fritz’s near the intersection of Big Bend and Meramec Station roads in 1993 and it has been a delicious staple in West County ever since.
It is Fritz’s unwavering commitment to the best quality custard – made in-house and paired with their premium brand-name toppings and mix-ins – that keeps customers coming back. Different than ice cream, custard is lower in fat and cholesterol. Fritz’s recipe and old-time freezing gives the custard its clean, delicious taste and creamy texture. Made fresh daily.
General Manager Gene Anselmo, who has been with Fritz’s 16 years, described the company’s chocolate as “rich and full-bodied, a quality you won’t find anywhere else.” If chocolate isn’t your preference, Fritz’s also offers traditional vanilla, low-fat vanilla and a flavor of the day. One of those upcoming flavors is new to the menu – Peanut Butter Oreo.
General Manager Angela Kyle, who has been with Fritz’s from the beginning, said often they try ingredients as toppings first and if they find it’s a hit with customers, will try it in the custard form.
Despite some seasonal favorites, like Cinnamon, Pumpkin and Pumpkin Cheesecake, it’s the Turtle sundae with caramel, pecans and hot fudge that put Fritz’s on the map. Love Turtle Pie? They do that, too. The 9-inch custard pie is a graduation and Mother’s Day favorite, but make sure to order it a day ahead. Turtle Pie is not on the daily menu, but don’t fret. There’s plenty to choose from – whether it’s a concrete, sundae, cone, shake or malt – every day.
“We have our set menu and, honestly, try not to add to it too much,” Kyle said. “It’s overwhelming to customers, even if it’s in a good way.”
Gaining traction and threatening to take over the Turtle sundae craze are the Cookie Monster and Dough Boy offerings.
Have a hankering for fruit? Try the Strawbana Sundae, the perfect combination of fresh strawberries and sliced bananas, or the Peach Melba loaded with peaches and raspberries. For fruit lovers, the list of fruit favorites goes on and on.
It’s not just the custard that counts. Fritz’s prides itself on community involvement and excellent customer service. The Higgins make sure they deliver on both.
In July 2016, Fritz’s held a one-day fundraiser for Ballwin Police Officer Michael Flamion.
“With the help of a supportive community, Fritz’s West County raised over $23,000 for Mike in one night, which included all our profits, additional donations and some employees’ wages for the night,” Ray shared.
It’s that personal touch that sets them apart.

Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott and Lt. John Bergfeld with Ray and Debbie Higgins at a check presentation for Officer Michael Flamion.

“We are not just a business. We are like one big, extended family,” he said.
“Our counter staff is typically high school students or college students who come back and work during the summer. We have longevity because there is really a family atmosphere,” added Debbie.
With the walk-up window and customer patio area, Fritz’s is seasonal, closing the Sunday before Thanksgiving and reopening the first Saturday of March. While Anselmo knows it’s a long break for their loyal customer base, it does give the managers an opportunity to take care of equipment and other managerial tasks and plan the menu for the following year.
What’s the best advice for this season? Hurry in! Customers will need until November to work their way through the menu.

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