Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream Announces Jennifer Schuler as New CEO

Jennifer Schuler
Jennifer Schuler

Iconic brand continues to drive growth with strong leadership

Handel's Homemade Ice Cream Announces Jennifer Schuler as New CEOHandel’s Homemade Ice Cream, a leading operator and franchisor serving handcrafted ice cream since 1945, recently announced Jennifer Schuler as its new Chief Executive Officer. Schuler is a highly seasoned executive with extensive marketing and franchise experience. She is taking the helm of a nearly 130-store and growing 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!” said Andrew Brennan, Board Member for Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream. “With the ‘#1 Ice Cream on the Planet’ and a very strong and growing group of talented and committed franchisees, we have terrific momentum and a very bright future.”

Prior to Handel’s, Schuler was most recently at Wetzel’s Pretzels, where she spent nine years growing the brand. She first served as Chief Marketing Officer, then as President, and, in the last five 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 $1M. 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.

Schuler’s professional marketing career also includes five years as Marketing Manager at General Mills. She also served in senior executive roles for a private equity-backed consumer healthcare company and an education technology start-up.

“As I immerse myself in the brand, I’m truly inspired by its nearly 80-year legacy of consistently delighting guests, while demonstrating phenomenal economics. Handel’s has achieved strong sales performance consistently across 13 states through our franchisees, with the brand performing extraordinarily well in new markets as it grows,” said Jennifer Schuler, CEO for Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream. “It’s an exciting time to be part of this organization as it’s poised for dynamic growth. Rarely do you encounter a brand with such a rich legacy, seamlessly intertwined with an unprecedented opportunity for new franchisees to expand!”

In recent years, Handel’s system sales rose from $29M in 2019 to over $130M 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, and customers continuing to fall in love with Handel’s one-of-a-kind ice cream and the friendly and accessible service at our stores.

Handel’s currently operates in 13 states, including recent expansion into South Carolina. The brand opened a flagship store in Clemson, SC earlier this year.

For more information about Handel’s, visit HandelsIceCream.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. To learn more about franchise opportunities, visit the link here.

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream has been in the business of making and selling fresh ice cream since 1945. Founded in Youngstown, Ohio, 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 using fresh ingredients and upholding a commitment to quality. 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.

In 2023 and 2024, Handel’s ranked in Franchise Times’ Top 400 list, recognizing the largest franchise systems in the United States, and its “Fast & Serious,” a list of the smartest-growing franchises for the year. The brand is also recognized by TasteAtlas for one of the top 100 Most Iconic Ice Creams of the World.

Handel’s has been named #1 Ice Cream on the Planet by National Geographic, one of the Top 10 Best Ice Cream Businesses by USA Today, one of the Top 500 Restaurants in America by Nation’s Restaurant News and Top 500 Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Handel’s currently has 129 locations across 13 states and is growing. To learn more about Handel’s franchise opportunities, visit HandelsIceCream.com/franchise.

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