If you have any pictures or additional information on Gruning's, please send them to BGriswold @Griswold.com.

Gruning's was a family-owned chain of stores in New Jersey that sold food, ice cream, and chocolates.  It was started by William August "Bill" Gruning in 1907 and eventually taken over by his son Herman Gruning (1917-2017). Herman's son James Gruning briefly got involved in the business from 1975-1982, but did not remain involved for long.

There was originally a single store in Newark.  That store was sold in 1970-71 and the name was changed to Brunin's.  The store had no connection to Gruning's and did not sell Gruning's ice cream or candy.

At its height, there were six stores:
     South Orange Avenue, South Orange
     South Orange Avenue (the "Top"), Maplewood
     Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
     248 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell  201-226-0864
     205 E. Fifth Street, Plainfield

Everything was sold in November of 1983 - the stores, the brand, everything.  Shortly thereafter, a store in Denville, NJ briefly opened up - not under Gruning's ownership but using the Gruning's name.

Visit Gruning's Ice Cream on Facebook!

You can buy Gruning's Hot Fudge at http://original1910fudgesauce.com/

Jim Gruning

Jim Gruning

Still looking for the Hot Fudge recipe? This is close: My best guess at duplication in small batch for Hot Fudge Sauce. We sold the business in 1982 and the actual recipe is their property. The ingredients we used are all available with the exception of the cocoa powder. We used a cocoa called Rona, from Van Houten, the originator of the Dutch cocoa process. The cocoa will be the most difficult and important ingredient. We used to buy tons of Rona Cocoa for Hot
Fudge, French Chocolates, other Candy items, and Chocolate Ice cream.

        1/2 cup butter
        1 cup sugar
        1/4 cup fresh heavy cream (36% minimum fat)
        ...1/4 cup condensed whole milk
        10 ounces weight measure (about 20 tablespoons) of cocoa 22% fat
        1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine butter, sugar, heavy cream in pan and heat to just short of a boil. Add cocoa, condensed & salt � use hand mixer to blend ingredients. Then slowly bring thoroughly mixed ingredients to a very soft boil. Keep at low boil / simmer (just enough to softly bubble) for 10 minutes and keep the mixture stirred. Remove from heat and keep the mixer going throughout the cool down. Store in glass container and refrigerate. Good luck and let me know how you do.

Posted by Jim Gruning on Facebook on October 23, 2012 at 1:50pm

The Best Vanilla Ice Cream I Ever Had
by Bill Shaw (ShawW@wpunj.edu)

Bill Gruning, Herman Gruning's brother, passed away on March 18th, 2013. 


Wasn�t sure if this was something you wanted to know about for your website.  Thanks for posting the site.  They had the best vanilla ice cream I ever had.

We would make Grasshoppers using cr�me-de-menthe, cr�me-de-cocoa, heavy cream, and Gruning�s vanilla ice cream.  I have never found anything even close in quality.

Gruning's Memories
by Karen Sirois (pikerkar@msn.com)

After discussing our childhoods with a neighbor, and the subject of Gruning's being part of the conversation, nostalgia made me look up Gruning's on the computer.  I was amazed that people were still discussing Gruning's!
My grandfather was part owner of the Gruning's stores in Plainfield and Newark in the early days.  My father managed the Newark store, and my parents and my grandparents each had apartments over the Newark store prior to 1954.  Around that time we moved to Livingston, NJ and my father continued to manage the Newark store until 1963 when we moved to South Plainfield with the intent of my father managing the Plainfield store.  Since I was a child then, I don't know the details; however, Elmer Barto was left on as manager of the Plainfield store and my father moved on to a different job. 
I remember playing in the alley behind the Newark Gruning's, helping fill the candy trays, watching my grandmother make the most beautiful Easter baskets in the Gruning's basement (there have never since been baskets of that quality), and playing with the children of a Gruning's waitress in their apartment above the Gruning's store.  After we moved to Livingston, I would still go to "work" with my father and always loved "working/playing" in and around Gruning's.
When we moved to South Plainfield in the early '60's, my mother would take my brother and me to Gruning's in Plainfield once a week (as if going there wasn't treat enough, it was especially nice since we still were part owners and didn't have to pay). 
At some point (details are hazy), my grandfather died and my father became part owner but sold his shares of the stores and that ended our dealings with the stores.  But, in the early days, Grunings was a huge and happy part of my life.
Someone mentioned there was a Gruning's shore house in Lavallette.  AMAZING!!  I have pictures of my mom, dad, and me as a baby at that house.  This is surreal!

See a Gruning's billboard that says "I Scream for Gruning's"

This is a painting done by my grandfather, Alexander Collani. It is about 5� by 24� and is a scale �model� of billboard art he painted in the NJ area. Between 1920 and 1944

I may have other B+W photos of billboard art from my grandfather�s portfolio.  Most are 1x3 inch cropped pictures. This on was hand painted as demonstration art, He only kept the ones he particularly liked when he retired

Tom Cabelus

See a Gruning's menu from 1983

A man who misses Gruning's

Who owns the Gruning's brand now?

1970 advertisement in the

Various people's memories of Gruning's

"Gruning's Ice Cream" - a Facebook group

Wet Walnuts!  That was the key!  Memories from the personal website of Steve Weintraub.


Last night I was sitting at my dining room table up here north of Boston, eating one solitary spoonful of Ben & Jerry's chocolate chocolate chip ice cream and saying to my husband, as I often do, "good -- but not as good as Gruning's" -- and it occurred to me to google Gruning's, and your fine web page  popped up. A delightful evening resulted and I just wanted to thank you. The menu is an especially nice touch!  I grew up in Fanwood in the 50s/60s/70s and all I can say is all the various cars we had over the years knew the way to Gruning's in Plainfield by heart.


ME: chocolate chip, coffee chip, peach. Chunks of chocolate look good in ice cream but they never match the flavor of the zillions of tiny flecks that Gruning's put in theirs. Also, I loved the twirly stools.

POP: chocolate chip, vanilla, almond crunch (that's what the '83 menu says, but I think they may have called it buttercrunch in ye olde days).

MOM:  Black raspberry, mint chip. Or, a handpacked pint, half chocolate, half lemon.


Our cat was particularly fond of peach.  Don't get me started on the hot fudge and wet walnuts. Gruning's was also our source for tiny and delicious licorice jelly beans.  Thanks, this made my evening --


Ann Smith

Hamilton, MA

It is my understanding that the Newark store closed a few years after the Newark riots.  The effect of the riots did have an effect on the store losing business.  My late father, Mike Maloney was a night manager at the Newark store for many years. (He was a postal worker in South Orange during the day.)   I believe he left in 1968, a year after the riots.  There was a biography on baseball player/spy Moe Berg out around 10 years ago (Moe Berg used to hang out at Grunings, Newark at night.).  Grunings and my father are mentioned in the book. 
The factory (and my family's house that we rented at 60 Taylor Place) was actually in South Orange.  My father worked at the Newark store.  There is presently a bakery and/or restaurant in the original store on South Orange Avenue.  The factory was in between my old house and the store. 
I have a vague recollection of playing with Billy Gruning at the beach houses in Lavalette (mid 60's).  He was around my age-- I was born in '58.

My family lived at 60 Taylor Place for 11 years (1958-69),the house behind the old Grunings factory in South Orange. My father worked at the Newark store.  There is presently a bakery and/or restaurant in the original store on South Orange Avenue.  The factory was in between my old house and the store. We also vacationed at Camden Avenue, Lavalette at beachhouses owned by the Grunings Family. 
I have a vague recollection of playing with Billy Gruning at the beach houses in Lavalette (mid 60's).  He was around my age-- I was born in '58.

Paul Maloney



Lori Kenny & Sally Dunn - Late '70s