Grycan is family-owned sorbet and coffee franchise with more than 60 flavors, both seasonal and static, and over 130 locations throughout Poland. 

In 1946, after settling in Wrocław, Grzegorz Grycan opened the first ice cream parlor in postwar Poland with the humble sign: Lody MIŚ – Weronika Grycan (“Ice Cream BEAR – Veronica Grycan” – named after his daughter). Residents of the city queued up with their own cups, buckets and jars to buy their fill of the original flavors of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and lemon. 

The brand gained massive popularity when Grycan’s grandson, Zbigniew, purchased the rights to the Warsaw’s famous Zielona Budka ice-cream parlor in 1980. The brand, which then became known as Zielona Budka, remained family-owned through the Soviet times, and gradually expanded until large enough to open a factory near Warsaw in 1993. 

In 2000, Zbigniew decided to sell the company to Enterprise Investors, one of the largest private equity funds in Poland and the CEE. Zbigniew remained chairman of the board and served until 2003. In 2004, after a statute of limitations on the prohibition of competition ended, Zbigniew reopened his own brand, this time under the name Grycan – Ice Cream for Generations. Today, the company boasts more than 100 sales outlets and over 1,000 employees.

Zielona Budka also continues to manufacture ice cream. It was eventually sold to a major German manufacturer and then merged with a major UK manufacturer and is today a subsidiary of the international conglomerate R&R Ice Cream.

 

Yummy, yummy chocolate ice cream:

 

Paul Poznan explains the ice cream craze in Poland:

Katheryn Weaver is a student of rhetoric and history at the University of Texas, Austin. Her primary areas of investigation include revolution and the rhetorical justification of violence against individuals, state, and society. She is currently studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS’s Home and Abroad Scholarship.