Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Stores is a family-owned and operated chain of fast-food restaurants and grocery stores based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It currently has locations in Oklahoma and in parts of Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri. As of 2007, there were approximately 280 stores in operation.
The restaurants serve ice cream, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and breakfast items. Stores also include a grocery section featuring dairy products, baked goods, beverages, frozen entrees, meats and produce.
Braum's is noteworthy for its level of vertical integration. Almost all the food products sold at Braum's are processed or manufactured directly by the company; Braum's owns its own feed mill, dairy herd, dairy processing plant, bakery, stores and delivery trucks. It also owns eight farms and ranches with a total area of 40,000 acres (160 km2), as well as its flagship family dairy farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma. Braum's describes itself as the only major ice cream maker to still milk its own cows. They also produce the packaging used for their dairy products.
In order to maintain the freshness of its products, the company does not open stores outside of a 300-mile radius of the home farm in Tuttle.
In 1957, Bill Braum purchased his family's ice cream processing business based in Emporia, Kansas, as well as its "Peter Pan" retail ice cream chain; ten years later, the Peter Pan stores were sold, under the condition that the Braum family not sell ice cream in Kansas for ten years.
Having kept the family dairy herd and ice cream processing business, Braum and his wife Mary started the Braum's chain in 1968, opening 24 stores in Oklahoma during the first year. Braum's brought products from its Emporia headquarters to Oklahoma for the first few years, later opening facilities in Oklahoma and moving the herd there in 1975.
Braum's also had some financial help from the popular series of Ernest commercials in the 1980s