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Nielsen’s Frozen Custard: Inside the Local Favorite

Nielsen’s Frozen Custard: Inside the Local Favorite

Welcoming dessert enthusiasts with its vintage ice cream parlor charm, Nielsen’s Frozen Custard has emerged as a delightful treat destination since its inception in 1981. The brand’s unique selling proposition is a state-of-the-art frozen custard machine producing mouthwatering masterpieces after meticulously stirring them evenly. We talked with owners Howard and Amanda Zayon about the brand, the sweets and what’s to come.

Locals Love Nielsen’s Frozen Custard

Nielsen’s first location on Eastern has been serving up the smooth, sweet treat for many years, often filled with local fans. “First and foremost, it starts with our product. We use only the finest quality ingredients; there are no preservatives or artificial ingredients like many store-bought products. It’s a combination of our recipe with real dairy cream, rich eggs and other natural ingredients,” the couple explained. “We make our frozen custard fresh throughout the day right in the store. Our Custard machine is a specially designed, one-of-a-kind freezing machine manufactured exclusively for Nielsen’s. We love our Custardmers, we love our employees, we are one big happy family, and we believe that sets us apart. We have always felt the most important thing was to make Everyone feel welcome and leave with a smile on their face.”

(Courtesy Nielsen's Frozen Custard)
(Courtesy Nielsen’s Frozen Custard)

Frozen custard, a delightful chilled treat, is similar to homemade ice cream but offers an even richer experience. Crafted from all-natural components, the concoction lacks the preservatives and artificial ingredients commonly found in its store-bought counterparts. Thanks to its egg content, frozen custard boasts a silky, creamy texture that indulges the senses. Served at an optimal 26°F, this specialty dessert allows taste buds to fully appreciate each flavor, unlike regular ice cream, which often numbs the palate at a frostier 10°F.

Though the Zayons weren’t the pioneers behind Nielsen’s Frozen Custard’s inception, the couple brought the brand to Las Vegas, and much of the brand’s success can be attributed to its popularity in Las Vegas. “My wife had a career in real estate, and my background was in computer software. We had young children at the time and were looking for a way to spend more time with our family. We were looking to start a business,” Howard Zayon told us. “We heard that there was an opportunity to own a Nielsen’s Frozen Custard in Las Vegas. We jumped on it and haven’t looked back since. We have had the opportunity to have our two oldest children work with us to grow the business. Our eldest son Brandon has been working with us for years and is now a manager. Our Daughter Tatiana is the store manager at Red Rock while attending UNLV as well. Our 9-year-old Zachary is our best taste tester and quality control expert. It has truly been an amazing experience to work together as a family to grow the business.”

(Courtesy Nielsen's Frozen Custard)
(Courtesy Nielsen’s Frozen Custard)

Las Vegas has been home to Nielsen’s Frozen Custard for years and, in 2023, has expanded to other parts of the city via Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa and Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino. “We were trying to expand for many years, and for whatever reason, we never found the right fit,” the couple said of the expansion. “After many attempts, we finally surrendered and decided to turn all of our of attention back on our shop in Henderson. Then one day, we received an email from Stations Casino asking if we were interested in joining the new food hall at the new Durango Station casino. We were so excited we called them immediately to find out more! We were very familiar with Stations, and we just knew that our values aligned perfectly. We are both family-owned businesses, and it was a perfect fit. We are so grateful to have joined the Stations family. They have welcomed us in like family, and we couldn’t be happier with the decision to partner with such an amazing organization. The rest is history; we are now open in the Red Rock Casino as well as the Santa Fe Station Casino.”

Frozen custard has become more and more prevalent in Las Vegas as frozen treats are popular with the city’s often sweltering temperatures for much of the year. “Frozen Custard has always been popular in the Midwest and in parts of the East coast,” the Zayons told us. “There are still so many people that have a perception of custard as something different than what it really is. More and more people realize that they like the flavor and the thick creamy texture of Frozen Custard better than ice cream. Our customers love that the Frozen Custard is made fresh in the store all day long. Once people try Frozen Custard, they usually tell us they like it better than ice cream and can really taste the freshness.”

(Courtesy Nielsen's Frozen Custard)
(Courtesy Nielsen’s Frozen Custard)
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