Frozen Legacy in West End: A Century of Ice Cream Dreams at Peters Factory

Situated in the vibrant neighbourhood of West End, the Peters Ice Cream Factory has become an iconic landmark that has been an integral part of our community for almost a hundred years.

To the locals, this factory holds a deeper meaning beyond its industrial purpose. It serves as a representation of the frozen treats that have been popular for decades. For over nine decades, this iconic establishment has served as the pulsating centre of our neighbourhood’s industrial scenery, producing the cherished confections that have added a touch of sweetness to numerous Australian reminiscences.

Early Days and Expansion

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

The story began in 1907 when F.A.B. Peters started his humble ice cream business in Sydney, expanding to Queensland and Western Australia by 1912. In Brisbane, Peters-Arctic Delicacy Co. Ltd. was formed in 1927, leading to the construction of the iconic West End factory.

This state-of-the-art facility, costing £100,000, was hailed as one of the most efficient ice cream factories in Australia upon its opening in December 1928. The company boasted a hygienic, fully mechanised process, from receiving milk and cream to delivering the finished product. The factory’s rooftop even housed massive ice tanks to ensure a steady supply for production.

The Garden Factory

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

The factory’s initial design featured a forecourt reserve and driveway, which were later transformed into an award-winning garden. This lush oasis earned Peters the endearing nickname “garden factory.”

As the business flourished in the 1930s, a second factory building was constructed on Wilson Street, further solidifying Peters’ dominance in the ice cream industry. The company continued to expand its reach throughout Queensland, offering innovative products and services.

Merger and Transformation

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

In 1960, Peters merged with Pauls Ice Cream and Milk Ltd., forming Queensland United Foods Industries Ltd. The original factory, once a proud standalone structure, became hidden beneath later additions. The roofscape, initially adorned with ice tanks, underwent significant changes as technology evolved.

Architectural Heritage

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

Today, the original factory’s architectural features remain partially visible. The reinforced concrete frame with brick infill panels, although now painted, showcases the building’s structural integrity. Truncated corner bays facing Mollison Street and the remnants of the original parapet offer glimpses into the past.

The utilitarian rear of the factory provides a clearer view of the original design. The more recent section, a large brick structure with a gabled clerestory roof, stands relatively unaltered. Its symmetrical ends, adorned with brick pilasters and central doorways, exude a timeless charm.

A Timeline of Innovation and Popularity

1938: Cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman partnered with Peters Ice Cream, boosting the brand’s popularity.

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

1963: Australians consume over 100 million Peters Drumsticks every year, revolutionising the market since its introduction.

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

1970s: Peters became a pop-culture icon, producing novelty lines tied to movies, TV shows, and music groups.

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

2000: The Maxibon snack was launched, catering to superhuman hunger with its unique size and appeal.

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

2009: Peters introduced Connoisseur Gourmet Ice Cream, becoming the top premium tub in supermarkets.

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

2016: Proud & Punch was launched, focusing on health and wellbeing with Australian-sourced, better-for-you treats.

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

2019: Peters collaborated with Cadbury® to bring new, exciting products to the freezer and with Gelato Messina® to reimagine the classic ice cream cone.

The Modern Legacy

Photo Credit: Peters Ice Cream

Today, the original factory stands as a monument to a bygone era of industrial prowess and community spirit in West End. The building’s alterations over the years reflect technological advancements and changing demands in the ice cream industry. 

While its historical façade may be hidden, the legacy of Peters’ innovation and commitment to quality continues to be felt across Australia. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a beloved national brand, Peters Ice Cream remains a cherished part of Australia’s culinary history.

Published Date 21-June-2024