6 things you (probably) don’t know about Culver’s

6 things you (probably) don’t know about Culver’s

The original Culver's and the Culver family. Credit: Culver's

By Christina Lorey

July 10, 2024

On July 18, 1984, 40 years ago this month, George, Ruth, Craig, and Lea Culver opened their first family restaurant in Sauk City, Wisconsin. They called it: “Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers.”

The rest, as they say, is history! Today, there are more than 140 Culver’s locations in Wisconsin and more than 900 across America.

📍Ever wonder which city has the most? Click here for the updated rankings!

And while the chain has since evolved into one of the most successful fast food franchises in American history, the Culver family has never forgotten their community-first roots.

Over the years, the company has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships to its employees. Since 1993, the Culver’s Foundation Scholarship Program has given more than $4.5 million in scholarships to 3,000+ team members working towards college or tech school degrees. You can find out how to apply here.

🍔 RELATED: What It’s Like to Eat at the First Culver’s

Culver’s is also always actively giving back to local neighborhoods, funding programs like Thank You Farmers and Give Local share nights (also known as Scoopie Night).They’ve also turned their former Prairie du Sac headquarters into the Ruth Culver Community Library and built Sauk City’s George Culver Community Library from the ground up.

Here are six more things you may not know about Culver’s:

🍨 America’s largest Culver’s is in Edgerton.
It can seat up to 300 people! The location was a banquet center when the company purchased the space. Click here for pics inside.

🍨 Butterburgers were originally made with an ice cream scoop.
Fresh beef was “scooped” into perfect portions and pressed down into the grill to achieve the perfect sear, according to the company’s website.

🍨 5,400 cows work full-time to make the milk for Culver’s custard.
The company’s fresh frozen custard is made from dairy sourced from more than 100 family farms throughout Wisconsin. Added bonus: Custard is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream (18 degrees vs. 10 degrees), so you’re less likely to get a brain freeze!

🍨 The first-ever “Flavor of the Day” was Caramel Pecan.
Today, there are more than 40! Culver’s “Flavor of the Day” is a unique combination of frozen custard and mix-ins that differs from store to store. This map shows the most popular flavor in every state.

🍨 The company makes more than 18 million orders of cheese curds every year.
Laid end-to-end, those curds would stretch to the moon, back to Earth, and then back to the moon! Everycurd served at the company’s nearly 1,000 locations across the country starts at La Grander Hillside Dairy in Stanley, Wisconsin. Here’s a copycat recipe to try at home!

🍨 Wisconsin has the most Culver’s in the country.
With 146 stores, the Badger State is home to 16% of all US locations, or put another way: one store for every 40,000 people! In second place is neighboring Illinois, with 134 stores (15% of all locations), but only one store for every 95,000 people. Florida, Michigan, and Indiana round out the Top 5.

When it comes to cities with the most Culver’s, Milwaukee is tied for first, along with Indianapolis and St. Paul; each has nine stores. Minneapolis is next with eight locations, followed by Chicago with seven, while Madison, Sioux Falls, Tampa, and Tucson all have five.

💡 Are You a Culver’s Expert? Put your knowledge to the test with this 10-question quiz.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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