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Glen's Custard has had generations of sweet deals

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
The finished banana split at Glen's Custard in Springdale on Thursday, July 18, 2013.
The finished banana split at Glen's Custard in Springdale on Thursday, July 18, 2013.
Glen's Custard Vice President Eli Wilson, of Cheswick, prepares a banana split at Glen's Custard in Springdale on Thursday, July 18, 2013.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Glen's Custard Vice President Eli Wilson, of Cheswick, prepares a banana split at Glen's Custard in Springdale on Thursday, July 18, 2013.
Glen's Custard in Springdale on Thursday, July 18, 2013.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Glen's Custard in Springdale on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

At lunchtime or any other time at Glen's Custard in Springdale, all “meals” start and finish with dessert.

That's because sweets are the menu.

A long time ago, this lower Allegheny Valley institution did offer sandwiches, but that only delayed the real reason people flocked to Glen's — for the frozen goodies.

History, all 65-plus years of this family business, is mighty tasty.

“Being in business that long, we have grandparents bringing their grandkids because they came when they were kids,” says vice president Eli Wilson, son of owner Glenn “Bud” Wilson (who spells his first name differently than his father and grandfather Glen).

“They will drive an hour from the other side of Pittsburgh just to come get our product. Some will take it out of state and we'll pack and put it in dry ice for them,” Wilson says.

It is not lost on Wilson that he is a link in a chain of tradition that began in 1948 with his great-grandfather. “That means a lot to me,” he says. “I get to keep providing the same quality of product we've been providing since the beginning.”

There is no indoor seating, but covered seating, tables and benches are located on the side and around the back, leading to Glen's miniature golf course.

The foundation of the business, which has a second location in Lower Burrell, is the homemade custard recipe that has been used from the beginning.

“The products we put in the machine are the products that come out. We don't add artificial sweetener. It's real ingredients,” Wilson says. “We go as far as making sure the cows we use don't get fed anything harmful.”

Custard ($1.65 to $2.50) flavors include vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, raspberry, banana, strawberry, cinnamon, pumpkin pie (seasonal), strawberry and Georgia peach.

If it's gourmet custard ($2.35 and $3.45) you're after, Glen's delivers, with Key West Pie (June only), Rockin Cotton Candy (July only); mint chocolate chip; black cherry; and maple walnut chunk. There's also gourmet butter pecan, pistachio, Rocky Road, Caramel Cookie Dough, cookies and cream, and Malt Shop Brownie.

Those who find it difficult to find sherbet ($1.65 to $2.50) will find it here in several flavors.

Specialty items include the popular apple crisp ($3.50), made with Glen's special crispy topping and served with vanilla custard.

A tin roof sundae ($3.65), among a wide selection of other sundaes, comes with two scoops of chocolate custard, marshmallow topping, Hershey's syrup, whole Spanish peanuts, whipped cream, and a Cherry The Arctic Swirl ($3.75 and $4.75) is billed as “perfect for the candy craver,” candy of your choice added to the custard and then blended, arctic style.

“Glenwiches” are two chocolate cookies with a custard center ($1) and a “Julie Bar,” named after the owner's daughter, is a “Glenwich” dipped in chocolate on a stick ($1.25).

You can sweeten the deal with new slushies ($1.25-$1.75), by having it topped off with a scoop of creamy frozen custard ($2.50-$3).

If you are in the mood for some dessert after your “meal,” take home some custard-filled cakes ($18.50) or pies or tartans ($13.50). If you are watching your waistline, there is a mini-cake for $6.75.

Glen's is open from March until the day after Thanksgiving, as is its 18-hole mini-golf course.

“We do birthday parties (for all ages) with a giant sundae and golfing. A guy just had his 40th birthday party here, and he was thrilled,” Wilson says.

Glen's Custard is at 400 Pittsburgh St., Springdale. Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays. Details: 724-274-5516;

Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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