Braum’s founder dead at 92

March 24, 2020 | Featured|Headlines

TUTTLE —  William Henry (Bill) Braum, founder of Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores, passed away at his home located on the Tuttle, Oklahoma Farm with his family by his side on Monday, March 23.  He was 92.

Bill Braum’s expertise and roots in the processing and marketing of dairy products made him a true innovator.  Braum gave real meaning to the term “vertical integration.”  He was a dairyman, farmer, processor, manufacturer, and retailer of dairy products.

Bill Braum was born in Newton, Kansas in 1928, and raised in Emporia, Kansas.  As a young boy, he began his working career by helping his father, Henry, in the family business – a small butter and milk processing plant in Emporia.  In the 1930s, Henry added ice-cream processing to the operation.

Bill Braum

After graduating from the University of Kansas in 1949 with a B.S. in Business Administration, Bill went to work full time for his father.  He also met and married his wife, Mary, that year.  Three years later, Bill and his father decided to specialize in retail stores and sold the wholesale part of the business.  Following that, they developed a chain of retail ice cream stores in Kansas called “Peter Pan Ice Cream.”

Peter Pan Milk truck

In 1957, Bill’s father sold him the business.  Within ten years, Bill built the business to 61 stores.  In 1967, a wholesale company offered a price he couldn’t refuse for the retail stores, and he took it.  Bill kept the processing plant, farm, and dairy herd.

Bill immediately began building stores in Oklahoma under the name “Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores,” opening 22 stores in 1968.

By 1971, there were 40 stores, and a new plant built in Oklahoma City, and the family moved to Oklahoma City.

In 1975, Bill moved the Braum dairy herd from Emporia to its new home located in Tuttle, Oklahoma. It was considered the largest modern-day cattle drive.

Now, the Tuttle farm consists of a bakery, a dairy, processing plant, a milking facility, and a few thousand baby calves.  The Braum family also operates a second milking operation on the Braum Farm located on the border of Shattuck, Oklahoma and Follett, Texas.

Throughout the years, Bill Braum has become known as a pioneer in “vertical integration.”

From the ground up, Braum’s consistently controls every aspect of the operation, including farming, manufacturing, retailing, trucking, advertising, and real estate.

All of his hard work was to provide the very best product at the very best price to his customers. Bill had three families that he loved and cherished; the family he had with Mary, his wife of 71 years; the family of all the Braum’s workers that brought him so much happiness; and his final family, all the customers that loved his products and understood how hard he worked to bring them the best products at the best values.  These are the three families Bill Braum loved.

Braum’s spokeswoman Amanda Beuchaw said the new Blackwell Braum’s is scheduled to open in May. Pictured above is the Anadarko Braum’s.
Heather Cannon Honda - We service all makes and models
Latest Headlines
Grouse Valley Equipment
Legal Headlines
Story Comments

Story comments are disabled for launch. Feel free to visit our Facebook page or Twitter profile to interact with other readers.