Custard Cup was first started in 1949. It was originally opened by George and Helen Potter at 2507 N. Vermilion St. in Danville, IL. There they started selling the Custard that Mr. Potter had developed a recipe for. Business started slow, and it was not uncommon to see George and Helen sitting out back playing cards while they waited for customers to come in. The Potter's also created our signature Cold Fudge, to solve the problem of Custard melting when hot fudge was put on it. They owned the business for 20 years and then decided that they were ready to retire. The Potter's had no children, so they sold "The Cup" to the Wilmer and Dorotha Jarling in 1969.
Mr. and Mrs. Jarling watched as the number of customers grew, after school, after church on Sundays, and on the weekends it started turning into "the place" to go on a weekend night for a treat. As it grew, the Jarling's made some changes to the business, such as adding cash registers and an extra two windows in 1980.
Another change the Jarling's made to the business was expanding the menu. Originally only three flavors of custard were available; Vanilla, Chocolate, and Lemon. Strawberry was added, and later so was Orange. They sold the classic soda shop favorites like Sundaes, Old Fashioned Sodas, Shakes and Malts. Also other menu items began to develop, such as Banana Splits, and Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Wilmer and Dorotha Jarling retired in the early 1980's to have time to enjoy hobbies and travel. After a two year battle with cancer, Dorotha Jarling passed away in 1995. Wilmer Jarling passed on in 2002 at age 85. The Danville Custard Cup is now owned by their children; Doug Jarling, Larry Jarling, Nancy Smart, and grandchild Rodney Smart.
On April 28, 1983 Jarling's Custard Cup opened its doors at 309 W. Kirby Ave. in Champaign. It was opened by Doug and Christy Jarling, who had worked and helped to manage the Danville store for several years. The Champaign location featured the same products as the Danville store, as well as new creations like frozen pies, and The Snowstorm. In 1993, Doug and Christy Jarling purchased the secret recipe from Wilmer and Dorotha. Since then both locations have continued to change their menus slightly, keeping the favorite treats and working to add new creations from what they've heard from their customers.