The Winkler family of Brothers International Desserts Inc., Irvine, Calif., said it is taking over operations at Schoep’s Ice Cream in Madison, Wis. Brothers Desserts was established in 1973, selling Italian ice and ice cream in Southern California.

The company said it has since grown substantially, making ice cream under various private labels for well-known brands and under its own labels: Brothers Ice Cream, Natural Choice, Absolute Fruit Sorbet and NutriFreeze. The products can be found in grocery stores, club stores and specialty shops across the country.

Brothers International Desserts said it had been looking to expand into the Midwest. In late 2019, Schoep’s Ice Cream entered into receivership, and the Winkler family was able to purchase select assets of the company — retaining most employees and preserving the brand’s name in the process.

“There’s a lot of crossover between Brothers and Schoep’s,” said Gary Winkler, founder and CEO of Brothers International Desserts. “We are a family-run business, so when we heard of another family-run business that was struggling and in receivership in Madison, we jumped at the opportunity.

“Schoep’s has a long tradition of ice cream production, going back when there were more horses than car,” he continued. “We have been in the ice cream industry for 48 years, so we like to think with all of our experience and knowledge, we can turn things around at Schoep’s. We look forward to continuing the tradition of Schoep’s and creating new opportunities.”

With the added manufacturing facility, the Winklers said they plan to expand production capabilities, add new customers, improve Schoep’s presence in the marketplace and bring overall growth to Madison.