Isaly's, makers of Chipped Chopped Ham & other quality deli and dairy products

Isaly’s Comments & Memories


An Isaly’s Love Story Isaly's Love Letter

The woman who was to become my wife had just gotten out of work as my friend and I were getting out of a movie. It was colder than bejeebers and he asked if he could give me a lift home. The next day I called her and we started making dates. Each time we went out we would stop at Isaly’s. And somehow we came up with the acronym, ‘I.S.A.L.Y.S.-I Shall Always Love You Sweetheart.’ Well, I was in the service. In Colorado, Texas, then Italy. Every letter we wrote to each other we would end with ‘I.S.A.L.Y.S’-and we still do! We eloped on Friday the 13th and we were told the marriage would never last. Right now it’s 57 years, two months and two weeks. On the radio this morning they announced that Isaly’s Barbecue Sauce was being carried at the market. My wife said, “Better get some!…” —Kenneth Weiss, Cleveland, OH


Isaly’s Fans Sound Off About Isaly’s Original Chipped Chopped Ham


Isaly's: A Story

((( A Story )))

It was a family made store
With the skyscraper cone
And surely the Klondike
With a name of its own

And the Chipped Chopped Ham
Was the ultimate king
And the sit-down-tables
Was a wonderful thing

And the checkered made floor
In its green & white classic
Is what really and truly
Made it fantastic

And last but not least
Was the outside sign
With the trademark Isaly's
In their black & white design

—Billie Nardozzi
Green Tree, PA

Mary's Memory

Oh! Isaly's has been a part of my life, for the past 79 years. I'm 85 and in my day, once you were 6 years old, especially being #10 of 11 children, you were helping with shopping, and so many other things. Of course, i remember the "Sky Scraper Ice Cream Cones, the Klondikes that if you bit into the ice cream and saw a stripe of Strawberry (Pink) Ice cream, you got a free one! We grew-up on Isaly's Chipped Ham Sandwiches, especially with the Bar-B-Q sauce. We also made what we called: "Hot Sandwiches", where in you prepared the Chipped ham, a piece of Cheese and some condiments; wrapped them in foil and heated them in the oven for few minutes and served them hot! wow, what a treat! My dear mom and her friends had a "Card Club" in their day and when it was my mom's turn to have the game at our house, she always served the ladies sandwiches of Isaly's Chipped Ham at our Christmas Party, my son made a crock pot of Isaly's Bar-B-Q Chipped ham for all of us to enjoy! Isaly's holds many wonderful memories for me! i still love Klondikes and now, I'm so hungry for some Isaly's Bar-B-Q Chipped ham!

—Mary Lou Carr

Model Trains


This is my Isaly Dairy on our Community Train Display-

Our annual new years eve tradition is a crock pot full of Isaly's BBQ Chip Chopped Ham & Sauce. We introduced all of our friends to it!

—Roger Peterson
north bloomfield Ohio

Long Live Chocolate Chip

I remember as a kid digging through the sofa cushions and everywhere else to find that last 1 cent to buy the 15 cent skyscraper ice cream cone at Isaly's in the Glannon's shopping center. We could walk there as kids so it was a special treat on those hot summer days to eat one of those great cones. My favorite of all time was chocolate chip! Mmmmm, I still remember how good it was. Long live Isaly's!!

—Diane Y.
Boca Raton, FL


I worked at the Islay's in Clairton, Pa in the 80's. What I wouldn't give for a Rainbow Ice cream cone. Was my favorite flavor! Any chance of bringing that back? Also, if anyone has the ham salad recipe they could share that would be great!

—LouAnn Goodrum
White Oak

Bill's Memory

I worked at the Isaly's in Washington Pennsylvania 5 or 6 years. Great company to work for. The skyscraper ice cream cones were hard to make at the beginning but once you learned the tricks they were easy to make. One of my customers was the singer Perry Como, from nearby Cannonsburg.
My favorite ice cream to this day maricopa. We now live in Florida and when we go back load up on the bar b que sauce to make our favorite Isaly's Bar B Que sandwiches.

—Bill Adams
Palm Harbor Florida

Home Sweet Home

The lunch counter at Isaly's.

I used to live in West View. Isaly's was part of everyone's lives and definitely serves as a time capsule of sorts to my life. My sister was partial to Maricopa! I always make it a point to swing by on my visits home to stock up on ham salad, chopped ham and Mancini's bread. I love the retro feel. So home!

Detroit Michigan

Billy's Memory

I worked for isalys in Clairton while in High School (GO BEARS) in the early 1960's. Couldn't begin to tell you how many skyscraper ice cream cones I made, under the watchful eye of then Manager Percy Grocott. Loved the chipped ham and all the other goodies Isaly's had to offer. Although I now live in Michigan (Brrrr) my heart will always belong to the Pittsburgh area especially Clairton. You can take the boy out of the Burgh but you can never take the Burgh out of the boy.

—Billy Alderson
Midland, Michigan

Isaly's in Grove City PA in the mid-1960's

I was a student at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania in the mid-1960's. The town had an Isaly's, and my friend Neil and I would go there regularly for the chipped ham sandwiches and especially the ice cream. As I recall they had a special scoop for their ice cream cones and there was some sort of guarantee that the ice cream wouldn't fall out of the cone. They also made corned beef sandwiches out of canned corned beef, and because I as a New Jersey native was raised on delicatessen corned beef I savored these as the closest I could get to what I had at home.

—AH Roberts
Harwich Port Ma

Connie's Memory

I always loved going into the Isaly's at The Crossroads in Mcmurray, pa.
There was a lady who worked there that had the highest bee hive I have ever seen!!!!

—Connie Lewis
Bethel Park, Pa

Mervyn's Memory

Loved the tall cones, but when i could get a hot fudge suday with marshmallow and caramel was the best thing I ever ate..loved the klondikes also.. lived near the Blvd of the Allies plant.. I am 81 and still have fond memories
my sister would babysit for neighbors and send me store for treats . What fine fun

—mervyn serbin
Coral Gables dl

Milkshake Maker


When Isaly's in Ellwood City closed, somehow my Dad was able to nab this milkshake machine. It still works! We had a cookout this evening & made milkshakes on the patio. The flavor is better than if made in a blender. Maybe it's the nostalgia I taste? The steel cup says "patent 1926".

—Don Mohr
North Tonawanda, NY

Katherine's Memory

My Aunt and Uncle owned an Isaly Dairy Store in Bessemer, Pa.
I would stop in after school for my favorite sky scraper ice cream cone.
I still have some of my Aunt's aprons, dishes, and the sky scraper ice cream scoop, from the store.
Great memories!!!!

Valparaiso, In.

Simply the Best

The unforgettable part of each shopping trip to downtown New Castle, PA with my Mom and my sister Mary Ann, was how each would end: with an Isaly's ice cream soda, or root beer float, or "just" an ice cream cone (oh, chocolate marshmallow, you are so missed!), and of course, mounds of chipped ham to go. Years later, I was lucky enough to get one of the most coveted apartments in Slippery Rock during my senior year there, on Main St. above the hardware store - with Isaly's right next door. Great friends, great apartment, and Isaly's at the bottom of the stairs. It just does not get any better than that!

—Jeannette Passaretti
Glendale, Arizona

Cold buttermilk

I liked the ice cold buttermilk in cone contaners

—byron huntington
sebring ohio

Childhood Ice Cream Trips to Isalys

Our family always enjoyed a trip to Isaly's for a ice cream cone or bringing some hand packed ice cream home while living in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. After a shopping trip with my grandparents, we always stopped at Isalys on Main Street in Butler. We loved the chip chopped ham. I didn't realize that the Klondike bars we buy in upstate New York were made by Isalys until recently. A few years ago when visiting Butler, it looked like the Main Street store was long gone. We had a great dinner at Natilis Italian restaurant that has been family run for years.

—Deb Boyer Cieslak
Schenectady, New York

Best Ice Cream I Ever Tasted

I will never forget the famous ice cream at Isaly's on each trip to Pittsburgh area. It was something to look forward to especially on hot summer nights! We made numerous road trips "back in the day" but always looked forward to Isaly's when we got to Pittsburgh. Thanks for the memories .... Jeannie

—Jeannie Martone
Miami, Florida

Childhood memories

Isaly's chipped ham is like the best childhood memories between 2 slices of bread!

—Erik Jones
McKees Rocks, PA

memories of the 50's

As a kid I remember my grandmother taking me to Pgh & McKeesport Isaly' s and my favorite was the ham barbecue sandwich .
Before moving to Florida 15 years ago the Irwin store was still there ,but even though we travel to Pgh .each year it has been forgotten about, but you can bet I will be picking up a batch of
Isaly's ham soon

—Ed Gueth Sr

Wonderful Memory

My most vivid memory of Isaly's was when I was eleven or twelve and I was given money to go get a pound of chipped ham. Mind you I lived in the projects in New Kensington and it was a very dangerous neighborhood. I was chased by three or four of the neighborhood boys for the money I had, I ran as fast as I could down to 5th avenue and ran into an Isaly's and asked for help I was being robbed. The counter clerk stood in front of the door and waited for them to come in and try to rob me. They did not, he stood there until they left. He gave me an ice cream and told me to wait a while until things settled down. I waited a half hour and purchased the chipped ham and a loaf of bread. I thanked the gentleman and headed home. Wouldn't you know that they were waiting around the corner for me and beat the living daylights out of me and took the food and left me lying there. Needless to say when I came home empty handed, I also got the crap beat out of me.

Didn't eat that night and had a broken nose and some ribs and punished for letting them rob me.

Good times in good old New Kensington.

New Kensington PA

Isalys barbecue ham sandwich

Being from Elizabeth Pa. My Mom and I would take the bus to McKeesport, Pa area for a day of shopping at the departments for clothes etc. The bus would let us off right in front of Islaly's and of course we would be ready for our chipped ham barbecue sandwich. Then we stopped at Isaly's for desert on the way home. Mom would have a cup of coffee and I always got a glacier ice cream cone. Since the bus would pick us up right in front of Isaly's This was my memory of shopping with my Mom and lunch at Isaly's with my Mom. Mom would make them at least once a month. After moving to Calif. My own return home trip would include a few pounds to take home to California Because the markets don't know how to cut the chipped ham cut. Amen?

—Cyndi Schreven
palm Springs.Ca

Ronald's Memory

As a High School Junior/senior I worked evenings and on weekends at the Youngstown, Ohio Market Street/ Indianola store. My manager was Wesley Rarer and a better mentor I could never have had. He instilled good work habits, promoting one's better traits and enhancing a personality of a retailer wanting to help and satisfy the customer's wants. This lesson of meeting the public and providing a good, desirable service was never forgotten by me as a 15/16 year old boy who was working towards making his way in life. I stayed at this job/store until I graduated from Youngstown South High School in 1951 and later went on to spend 20 years in the USAF and another 20 years working with the US Army and I continuously applied the fundamentals of life and work place habits which Wesley Rarer had taught me. Wesley is long gone and I am 81 years old but I still remember the Isaly's environment which groomed my onward positive habits which have helped me and my family thru the years.

—Ronald G. Bott
Youngstown, Ohio

Dick's Memory

When I went to Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio in 1949, the high point of the weekend was always a hike to Isaly's for milk shakes.

—Dick English
Buffalo, NY

Gayle's Memory

I grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio that had an Isalys store. We used to get ice cream cones there but mostly we would get the best tasting chipped chopped ham ever. Until one winter there was a huge fire and it burned down. No more Isalys and the community lost a favorite landmark. Years later we all grew up and moved away. We later found out another store in Ashtabula called Albinos was selling the ham. When we returned to visit Mom in a nursing home we would go to that store to buy pounds of the chipped ham to take back to our local state where we live. Then, for some reason I googled where you could buy the ham and found out it couldn be bought in Maryland where my brother lives so on a visit to him lately, I stopped at a local Wal-Mart and purchased a few pounds and surprised my brother with it. He was real excited to know he didn't have to go to Ashtabula just to buy the ham as Mom has recently passed away.

—Gayle Whiting
Jackson, Michigan

Dormont pa Isaly's

Isaly's was the local delivery and ice cream store. There was one on Potomac Ave in Dormont Pa that I visited in the 50's. Skyscapers, Klondikes, Chopped Chipped Ham, Banana Splits were the best. Never forget this legacy store of the Burgh :-)

Sun Lakes Az

Tim's Memory

I worked at Isaly's in Jeannette when I was a senior in High School. The hardest job was learning how to scoop the sky scraper ice cream and place it on top of the cone so it did not fall of.
My favorite meal was a chipped ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with a strawberry shake.
On my last day of work before leaving for college, I cut off the tip of my finger on the slicer. (:

—Tim Farabaugh
Jeannette, pa

Is this a real scene, and if so, where was it?


The attached picture has aroused the interest of a Facebook group I belong to. I have been unable to find the identity of the original artist. I'm wondering if this is a real scene, or if it was created by the artist as a typical Christmas city-scape.

—michael schwartz
Morristown, NJ

Katherine's Memory

I grew up in Mansfield, Ohio where we had a couple of Isaly's stores. In the 60's we had a store on W. 4th St. and a store and cheese making plant on Franklin Ave. My dad's favorite past time was going for rides in the car and stopping to get ice cream. We spent a lot of time at Isaly's, and I have some wonderful family past time memories and of the best ice cream and milk shakes in town. I also remember a field trip our East Mansfield Elementary School class took to Isaly's to see how cheese was made. These memories are priceless and whenever I see old glassware (milk jugs) from long ago, I always check for the name "Isaly's" on it.

—Katherine Weber
Mansfield, Ohio

Blue and Green and Pink Sandwiches

In the 1930s, when I was a little girl, we lived on Storer Avenue, near Copley Road, where there was an Isaly's. Of course we all (I had 3 brothers) loved the skyscraper cone, but there was an additional lure! On our birthdays, our Mother would go to Isaly's and buy COLORED BREAD. She made sandwiches of blue, green, and pink bread for our birthday parties! How cool was that?

—Fran Claggett
Sebastopol, California

I am too young, but I remember my parents talk about it as if it was the greatest ice cream ever. My old man would talk about the store on the corner of Hazelwood and Mahoning on the Westside, Skyscapers, chip-chop ham, barbecue sauce, and donuts were always being referenced and brought up when talking local eateries I was a kid. Never without: "When I was your age..." coming first in the conversation.

Best Job EVER

Growing up I ate at Isaly's many times. My mother worked very close and my sister and I went to school just a block away. At least once a week we got to meet her for lunch. At 16 I got what I consider the world's best job there. I was a stock boy and I cleaned up. Mostly it was evenings and an occasional Saturday or Sunday during the day. What made it so great was
#1......I worked with 8 of the prettiest girls I went to school with.
#2.....At 7 PM we cleaned up the cafeteria and took all the food to the kitchen to be put away in the cooler for the night and to clean the pans and containers. We always made a big plate for ourselves for our break.
#3 Just before 10 (Closing time) one of the girls would make milkshakes or sundae's for when we left.
#4 Mr. Cunningham the owner was one of the nicest employers I ever had.
If I had to work a Saturday or Sunday it was rough at times, especially if the Chipped or Baked ham was on sale. Thinking back it may of been 50 cents a lb. Well I'd operate the slicer for what seemed eternity chipping ham. My right arm would be numb before noon. The baked ham had to be sliced when the customer ordered it since no two ever wanted the same thickness.
I now live in south Fla and I wonder what TSA thinks every time I come back from Pittsburgh since I generally have 1/2 a dozen jars of BBQ sauce and a cooler with chipped ham. Yes I can get a close copy of the chipped chopped ham here but it's not the exact same. PLUS explain to someone at a deli the thickness of CHIPPED as they don't quite grasp the concept.
I am really surprised that no one has opted to franchise Isaly's out as it would be a good addition to all the food establishment options we have today.

—Dave Horvat
Weirton, Wv

great memories

I remember your grandfather..tall fella..My Grandmother Ruth Whalen worked in the bakery I think 1 day a week. My mother took me and my 5 brothers and sisters in for a coke after shopping! My mother was Patricia Whalen from North Irwin...found memories!

—Doug Howard

Fond Memories of Youngstown's Isaly's

I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio with fond memories of the big Isaly's Dairy Plant on Mahoning Ave. My Dad's favorite flavor of ice cream was "White House" ~ creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with maraschino cherries ! My family loved 'chipped chopped ham' sandwiches ! I live in Sarasota, FL now and no one at any deli counter knows what that is !! It got its name from how they used to shave and cross cut the ham in a certain way. It's chipped, then chopped. Yum ! Great memories !!

—JoAnn Pillifant
Sarasota, FL

Isaly's Memory

The Isaly's I went to was on Brownsville Road in Mt. Oliver Borough of Pittsburgh. Two school friends worked there. I loved Rainbow ice cream, the taste and the pink, cream, and green of it. Just this morning I read a funny column in THE WASHINGTON POST about "when exactly it all went wrong" and I knew the answer. Gold star. I have been saying for years now that it "all went wrong when they closed Isaly's." This reason covers a lot of disappointing territory. In short order, it seems, they closed my high school, my grade school, my church. That did a good job of obliterating my childhood, but it started with Isaly's closing. I was no longer living in Pittsburgh and hadn't been for years when it happened. Just this New Year's Day, 2016, my son, whose childhood memory at his grandmother's house also includes chipped chopped ham lunches, arrived here in Vienna, VA, bringing chipped chopped ham from a local supermarket. I was also delighted to see a tribute by the mystery writer, Martha Graham. She wrote a funny book about the publishing industry in 2004 titled FOUL MATTER in which a young man named Isaly visits Pittsburgh and the store. Pistachio is the flavor named specifically, if I remember correctly. My husband from Texas also remembers the Big Isaly in Oakland.

—Anna Marie Mulvihill
Vienna, Virginia

Wonderful memories.

I grew up in Elizabeth Pa. back in the 1960's. When we wanted to go to town, we got on the bus and went to McKeesport. The best part of the trip was lunch at Isalys. Sometimes it was chipped ham BBQ, sometimes it was ham salad. Chocolate milk and a Klondike Bar were usually included. On occasion, Mom would buy me one of those boxes of animal crackers that looked like a bus. I would play with that box for a long time after the crackers were gone ! I moved to Virginia in the early 80's. Sadly, there are no Isalys here. But I do order the BBQ sauce online. If only I could get some of that wonderful ham to go with it.

—Lisa Robertson
Reedville, Va.

Isaly's best

Butterscotch Ripple ice cream was always my favorite at Isaly's as well as their baked steak dinner.

—Jerry Sanborn
Lancaster, Ohio

Isaly's halloween

I grew up in Pittsburgh just streets away from the Isaly family, and went to high school with two of the sons. One of our favorite memories is every year at halloween, the Isalys would not give out candy--oh no! They would give out KLONDIKES!!! (Better eat em quick before you got to the next house).

—Jim Aronson
New York, NY

Happiness is....Your ice cream and chipped ham :)

Growing up in the Burgh we so enjoyed getting the Isaly's skyscraper cones. Mom would surprise us by getting the Chipped Ham for dinner. When we get back "home" I always buy about 10 pounds of the Chipped Ham. I keep it frozen to make it back to Montana. We miss having the skyscraper cones but we did sit with cousins and enjoyed the ice cream in the store. It brought back lots of wonderful memories.

—Virginia ( O'Leary ) Ketterling
Billings, Montana

Rikki's Memory

When I lived in Turtle Creek, I went to the Isaly's every Saturday one summer with my best friend. We'd go thrift shopping at one of the local churches then get a ice cream and a Jones.

—Rikki White
Monroeville PA

Ted's Memory

I used to deliver the morning news paper when I was in high school and when I was done I would stop in isaly's down town new castle for a hot cup of coffee...

—ted smith
new castle pa

Window Memories

My father was a 'window trimmer' for Isalys during the '40's and 50's, until the company went to a leaner, cleaner look. Isalys windows were quite elaborately decorated during that period, Our house was almost always used as storage for the next window change. Dad traveled to Ohio, West Virginia and of course Pittsburgh to work his magic in those windows. In my mind, I see them still.

—Margery Neill Boyle
Beaufort SC

Debra's Memory

I grew up overseas in my childhood years because my dad was a US Diplomat but when he would be on furlough, our family of 9 (7 kids and my mom and dad) would fly up to my dad's hometown of Apollo, PA to visit granny and grandad but first stop always was Isaly's! To this day, my memories of going to Vandergrift, to get my rainbow ice cream and hearing us all shout out our flavors is so exciting! This Thursday, my 90 yr. Old Daddy and I are going to PA for him to see old friends and family and his health is not great but what is he asking about? Isaly's!

—Debra Gallagher Betolatti

Minvera Isaly's Memory

My parents, Bill and Mary Francis, owned the Isaly's Store in Minerva, Ohio. We grew up working the soda fountain and having all those ice creams, chip-chopped, Klondikes at our fingertips. My whole family was a part of the business and we learned a lot from our parents. We learned to work hard, be a member of the community and strive to be the best.

—Cindy Francis
Dallas, Texas

Isaly's- what a great place for the family !

There were 2 Isaly's location in my hometown of Homestead, PA. When my dad got paid, we would walk to one of the 2 Isaly's stores for a special treat. Sometimes it would be a skyscraper cone, sometimes a 25 cent milkshake or a Klondike. Once in a while we would eat lunch at one of the tables- I always got a chipped ham barbecue- still love to make my own at home these days. Prices were so cheap that one day we went to Isaly's and the price of coffee had gone from five cents to seven cents- we were not wealthy. I can still hear my mother exclaiming- " Seven cents for a lousy cup of coffee" !(The lousy of course certainly did not refer to their really good coffee.) But she continued to enjoy her favorite brew there..loved it.

North Ridgeville, OH

Dad met Mom

My mother worked at the lunch counter at the main Isaly's in the late 30's. It was here that she met my father. Are there pictures posted during this time frame? By the way, the Klondikes were my favorite.

—Ernie Reid
Granville, OH

Walter's Memory

When I was a child about 6 years old,1950, I met Mrs. Isaly. I lived in Youngstown, Ohio and my Uncle was in charge of maintenance at the Isaly factory. My dad and I went through the factory and they had a machine that made Klondike ice cream bars. At that time Klondike bars were chocolate covered ice cream with a wooden stick in them. I now noticed that all Klondike bars consist of chocolate covered ice cream without the stick. Do the stick versions still exist?

—Walter E Meyer
Leonard, MI

Great Days

I lived on Fifth Ave in Oakland we would go to the park or Panther Hollow and on way we would stop and get chipped ham sandwich and little cartons of milk. On way home we got skyscraper ice comes. Best chipped ham ever and when I come to pittsburgh I always get some. Some of the best days ever.

—Rose Harding
Lawton, ok

If we were good it was Klondike time.

Even today at 73 years old I love the Klondike bars. As a child living in Washington, Pa it was exciting to stop in the Isaly's store when my mom would get some things from the deli and my brother and I could have a Klondike bar. Back then if you got a yellow card in your bar you could get a free one. Memories are still vivid and I share these with my kids and grandkids. Remembering the smells and fine things you sold back then. Wish they were here in Cincinnati, Ohio.

—Sandy Coffey
cincinnati, Ohio

Marion, Ohio's Memory

My dad worked as the General Manager of the plant in Marion, Ohio along side Richard (Dick) Isaly. He originally started out working for Isaly's in Butler Penn. Than moved to Columbus and finally to Marion Ohio. I remember going past "Mother" Isaly's house on Vernon Heights Blvd in Marion and my Dad always commented on what a gracious lady she was to him.
I was sad to see the Klondike sold to another company.

—Jim Morrison
Burlingame, California

Maricopa Skyscrapers.

Back in the 60's, when I was in Junior High (we didn't call it Middle School back then), my dad and I would often go to his office downtown in the afternoon. He'd work and I'd just poke around downtown. A 14 year old kid could do that safely back then. On the ride home, we'd pass an Isaly's in Mount Lebanon, and stop for a Maricopa skyscraper to eat in the car on the way home. That was our secret. We never told my mother about it.

—George Erdner
Duluth, GA

Isaly's in Etna PA, early 1970s


Found this slide while going through old family photos. My grandfather was born in Etna and dad visited there often. I believe this was taken around 72 or 73.

—Ed Hughes
Paso Robles, CA

Lonnie's Memory

Growing up on the Southside of Youngstown Ohio, I remember the chip chopped ham it was amazing. I live in NC now and down here they have nothing like it.

Angier NC

Tim's Memory

My family always had Isaly's at reunions!

—Tim Bickerton
Beaver, PA

Isaly's in my roots.

I grew up in Kittanning, PA, a little town upriver from Pittsburgh. My parents had a furniture store and just around the block was an Isaly's. It was definitely the favorite place to go. Like everyone else, we loved the chipped ham and a chipped ham sandwich was my very favorite after school snack. My memory is drawn especially, though, to the selection of ice creams and the tall skyscraper cones. They were terrific and you could not find anything like them anywhere else. In 1960 we moved to Florida and after I married, my wife and I moved to Utah. But my roots are always in western Pennsylvania and among my treasured memories is Islay's. At the end of this month, my wife and I will be visiting Pittsburgh and Kittanning with my adult son. How I wish I could take them to an Isaly's!

—Gary McKean
Lawton, Utah

I worked at Isaly's in White Oak, PA in 1964

I worked at the Isaly's Store on Lincoln Way Avenue in White Oak, Pa. in 1964 It was a hard job for a 13-year-old school boy but I sure enjoyed the fringe benefits of Klondikes and the best ice cream. I have lived in The Great State of Texas since 1978 and I occasionally buy chipped ham from the local grocery store - but it is no comparison to the delicious chipped ham I used to slice for customers. (Of course most all foods were better and more healthy "back in the day"!) Great memories!

—Keith R. Phillips
Houston, Texas

Our family outing

Isaly's ice cream cone came to a point at the top.
They were the tallest an the best ice cream cone I ever have eaten. I'm from Pittsburgh Pa. my husband and I take her grandchildren as we did our children to the old Isaly's in Oakland show them the building and told them all the stories of how our parents brought us to Isaly's to get our pointing ice cream cone and how is the sit out in the parking lot and look over to the J&L steel mall below to eat our ice cream. That was always our family outing...

—Gail Jones Latham
Reading Pa

Dormont Isaly's Memory from 1965

While a senior in high school in 1965, I was lucky enough to have worked at Isaly's in Dormont, Pa. I remember in October of that year I actually became the head clerk working 40 hours/week, making a huge $1/hour. It really was a good wage for a high school kid and let me save money for college books and also take my girlfriend out 2 to 3 times a week. The work ethic of the career Isaly employees provided lessons that were the foundation for success in life. We were known for our skyscraper cones, and klondikes. plus whitehouse and Maricopa ice cream. Skyscraper cones required practice to make them correctly, because if you made them too large, the customer could end up with a huge 15 cent cone and Isaly's would lose money. I wish I could remember my managers name, because he and the assistant manager, Mr. Fonner, ran a great store. The daytime porter, Bill, (we called him the old Dad) prepared all the food sold on the lunch steam table and made the best ham salad in the world. The general public didn't know it, but all "ends" of the deli meats and cheeses went into the mix of the ham salad. In reality, the mix was probably 90+% baked ham, boiled ham, chipped ham, kosher corned beef, corned beef, and even a small amount of bologna and salami. I had pride knowing that Isaly's sold the best quality foods and look back fondly at those experiences. I remember some of the prices of our products in 1965. I do recall that the ice cream cones were 7 cents for the child single scoop, 10 cents for the small sky scraper and 15 cents for the large skyscraper. Klondikes were a dime. Chipped ham was 59 cents/lb. - (49cents/lb. on sale.) Baked ham was 89 cents/lb. - (69 cents/lb. on sale.)

—Dave Martin
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Paul's Memory

When I was a child my favorite was Isaly's in Mahoningtoww & there giant vanilla cones.
Later when I worked for my Dad at PAGLEY Shoe Repair that's where I ate lunch. The had the best apple pie top off with a large scoop of ice cream. Days gone by never to be again . SO SAD .

—Paul R. Pagley
New Castle Pa.

Always in LOVE with Isaly's

For a few years in the 1960s, I was a teen who worked after school at an Isaly's store in Akron, Ohio. With dried ice cream up to my elbows, I dug down deep into the ice cream bins to produce the 'skyscraper' cones for customers of all ages. If the cooking staff was extra busy, I made cheeseburgers on the hot huge grill located in the very front area of the store. I remember so well that it was hard work, that being on time for my shift was important and that the managers were the kindest people and the customers were the friendliest! However, I either never learned or didn't pay attention to the fact that it was family Isaly that founded the store. We young, naïve teens who were told this: Isaly's was an acronym for ' I shall always love you sweetheart.' These many decades later I find no mention of this....and I was crushed. But no matter, I will always love my very first job experiences at my neighborhood Isaly's store. Since then, with hard work, I became a senior exec at a non-profit association in Washington, DC. I still have a bowl of ice cream almost every day!

—Barbara K. Reck
Washington, DC

Isaly's Memories Past and Present

My husband worked at the Isaly's store in South Hills Village in the 70's. I walked in there with a friend to buy chipped ham and a cone and it was love at first sight. Sounds silly, but here we are married 42 years and have 2 sons and a beautiful family. Every year that we are blessed with an anniversary, we celebrate with Isaly's chipped ham sandwiches and a Klondike with our family. We miss the skyscraper Whitehouse cone. What a tradition Isaly's is for our family, and what a blessing walking into the Isaly's store to meet the love of my life and best husband and father ever. Praying we win the train set, what a part of our yearly celebration this would make for our family. Thank you Isaly's for all the years of tradition you have been part of in our family. Happy New Year!

—Barbara Martincic
Oakdale, PA

Memories of Isaly's

When I was a little boy I would stop on my way home from school and get a scoop of ice cream .. Or get a 1/2 a pound chip ham and eat it on my way home !! I miss it and I miss Pittsburgh

—Victor piotrowski
Livermore California

My Memory

Grew up behind the store in Marion Ohio. The best of times going to get ice cream and watching the ice cream being made in the factory. Angelo Dorian was the greatest manager of the plant a great man who loved making ice cream and running the restaurant.

—Green 382
Marion, Ohio

Isaly's Fish

Every Friday my mother ordered breaded haddock from the Irwin Isaly's which was owned and operated by Art Lewis. It was the best tasting breaded fish we have ever eaten and to this day I can still remember the delicious taste.

Cockeysville, Md

My grandparents use to own the Isaly's in Irwin PA and I have so many good memories of making the donuts and selling all the good products. —Melissa Lewis

I grew up with Isaly’s in Sewickley, PA. My family lived only 4 doors away from the local store. What a treat it was to buy a rainbow or a maricopa skyscraper cone! My Dad loved the chocolate chip with the jimmies inside. I’ve never seen another CC like it. And my favorite lunch was, and always will be, a fresh chipped ham sandwich and a vanilla milkshake!

—Cathy Kroepil

I first went to work at store #22 on Forbes Street in Oakland in 1944. I left to enter the merchant marine (World War II} then worked from 1945 to 1962. I am pleased and proud to have worked all those years in such a fine company. Any work ethic my parents failed to teach me, I sure learned at Isaly’s. Loads of good memories.

—H. Ron Campbell
Ormond Beach, Florida

Fred G. Baur and family, 1930sIn pre-WW2 days, Isaly’s was the place to go for chipped pressed ham and for their large ice cream cones, after movies and shopping in East Liberty. But above all, I remember the Squirrel Hill store at Forbes and Murray, immediately above which was one of the locations in the Thirties of The Gene Kelly Dance Studio. My sister and I had weekly lessons there and before taking the #60 street car back to East Liberty, we always bought a Klondike and immediately looked to see if ours had a strawberry center which would get us a coupon for a free Klondkie on our next visit. For a while, Gene had us perform at local theaters on Saturday mornings and we were called Gene Kelly’s Brother and Sister Team.

—Fred G. Baur

Blue Ribbon Baby letterI was an Isaly Blue Ribbon Baby when I was 2 years old and living in Marion OH. I have a newspaper clipping with my photo in it and have attached a copy of the letter to my parents. I was recently in Marion and looked for the original Isaly’s on Center Street, but couldn’t find it. I have fond memories of going to Isaly’s for ice cream.

—Cindy Burdge Aloise

When I was growing up in Wadsworth, Ohio we had our own Isaly’s there. The ice cream counter with the hand-dipped ice cream, and not to forget the great shakes that went with the juicy burgers & hot fries! I remember an individual jukebox on each table top. It was so much fun pushing the buttons, I think we drove our parents nuts on that! Your chipped chopped ham was a lunch staple for school. My brother to this day, still buys it when he is near an Isaly’s provider.

Thank you for letting me share my memories!

—Elizabeth Leedy

In the 1950′s we lived in Franklin, Penna. Our family had 8 girls and 2 boys. As with large families, the oldest girls took care of us young ones. A special treat was to be taken to Isaly’s for a five cent “skyscraper.” My favorite was White House.

—Dottie Murphy

I remember visiting our grandparents in Youngstown, Ohio in the 1950s. On a summer evening, we’d all get in the car and drive to Isaly’s for an ice cream cone. I always got maricopa ice cream. Those were great memories.

—Linda Stutler

I grew up in Dormont. Isaly’s was my very first job. I was hired when I was 16 and worked for about 7 years. All the locals hung out there and just talked for hours. It was like being at a family reunion only everyday. All of my co-workers and managers were good friends which is why it was probably the best job I’ve ever had. I recently went back to work in Dormont and now the people who come into my place of employment still remember me when I worked at Isaly’s. I still see and hear from some of my old co-workers and that is very special to me.

—Debbie Cherosky  

I was employed at Isaly's from 1941 to 1971, in retail home delivery. I was sales manager, working under William Isaly. Great memories remain…

—Leonard Shaw

One of my fondest memories was as a little girl my Daddy would take me to the local Isaly’s Store (Turtle Creek, Pa.) for ice cream. It always tasted so good and was the best in the area. I remember I wanted to try every flavor that there was so every time we went I got a different flavor. I don’t think I ever got to try them all because there was just so many. By far ISALY’S is the best in my book. Now when I go home to visit my family I take my children to Isaly’s for some good old fashioned ice cream.

—Beth Wheeler

I can remember going to Isaly’s when I was a young girl. We would get Ice Cream and my favorite chipped chopped ham. I loved it. I haven’t been able to find chipped chopped ham as good anywhere else.

Theresa Sestito

I am one of the great grandsons of the one and only William Isaly. Born and raised in a small Montana town, I have never tasted Isaly’s chipped chopped ham. However I have read the many and passionate testimonies of the chipped chopped fans, and the simple thought of it makes my mouth water!!!

—Keegan Isaly

When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived in Englewood, PA. While visiting them from Wisconsin, I fell down a big hill in the back of their house and my grandmother gave me some Isaly’s chipped ham to lessen my tears and ease my pain! From that point forward, I was hooked. If I would get sick, my mom would always say, “How about a ham sandwich, Kay Ann?” She knew I was feeling better when I would eagerly say, “Yes, please!” 

—Kay Wightman

Kristi Bonkowski I LOVE ISALY’S!! It brings back such wonderful memories of my dad and me going to German Village in Columbus, OH and going to the Isaly’s store. My favorite was ice cream and and vanilla phosphate drink. It was a special treat.

—Kristi Bonkowski 

Stephen R. Ecsedy parent's homeIsaly’s was part of our growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa. We boys would ride our bikes to the main Isaly’s in Pittsburgh and it was a little trip. I remember the Skyscraper cones and the Klondikes and some had a coupon in them to get a free one. The chipped ham was our favorite, too. It is no longer there, but we can get Isaly’s chipped ham at our grocery market. 

—Stephen R. Ecsedy

I worked at Isaly’s in Austintown, Ohio 1964. My father worked at the big Isaly’s in Youngstown, Ohio 1948. I now live in upstate NY, & I went into a hobby shop that has train models. There was a tanker with “Isaly’s” on it. I also can never spell “Isaly’s” with out saying the “I shall always love you sweetheart.”

I still have my badge from Isaly’s with my name on it. I bet I could make the tallest sky scraper ice cream cone ever on earth.

Good, happy memories.

—Angela Barbone
St. Regis Falls, NY

We lived near the Isaly’s in Bethel Park, PA. My mom, step-brother and myself would go in on a Saturday and wait in a long line for chipped ham and all the other foods Isaly’s sold that was so good. I think we got a pink free klondike once. As we rounded the bend waiting to get to the counter my eyes got so big looking at all the goodies on the shelves. Also, my Mom and I would go down to Isaly’s get our Skyscraper ice cream cones and park the car in the parking lot and watch the South Park drive-in movie.

My grandparents and I would go in when I was little, sit at the tables, and eat our ice cream. My grandma would get rainbow and I know I would almost always get chocolate chip, my favorite. 

—Kim Vagni

My family and I love the Isaly’s chipped ham. I was originally from Pittsburgh and moved to Sarasota when I was three. Over many visits to the South Hills area to see my family I realized there was something special about the ham. I loved it!!!!! I asked my grandma what was different about the ham, and she explained to me the Isaly’s story. Going forward in life my two son’s have also grown to love the ham and it is the first thing we look for on our vacation. We always bring a cooler of ham back with us to Florida and let everyone we know savor the flavor of ham barbeque!!!! 

—Tara Nissen

I now live in Independence, LA, and every time I come to Pittsburgh to visit my family, I either bring a small ice chest, or buy one…and load up on chipped ham and sauce. My daughter and I look forward to it every time we come to PA. 

—Robin Drago

There once was an Isaly’s located in Columbus Ohio, on the corner of Mt. Vernon Ave. and 20th. My Grandmother, Sarah Bishop, used to walk my two brothers and myself down there once a week and allow us to order what we wanted. I used to always order a slice of a chocolate ice cream roll up cake. Once it was sliced it looked like a chocolate pin wheel. It was the richest chocolate with the creamiest ice cream in the center. I don’t care to do a commercial but I do want you to know how thrilled I am that Isaly’s still exists. I am 65 years of age now, but the name “Isaly’s” triggers wonderful and endearing memories.

—Veronica Turner

I remember when I was a little girl and lived in PA. My mom and dad would take us to the Isaly’s Deli. I remember those little buns and the chipped chopped ham. It was the best. I am now 54 years old and I can still remember it vividly. Ice cream, too! 

—Cindy Lohiser

During WWII the Youngstown Isaly’s plant had 25 horses for our home delivery routes. We had 100 routes at our high point. We sold a lot of that good Isaly’s milk. It was great to have been part of it. 

—Leonard Shaw

When I was a little boy my grandparents lived on Welsford Street in Oakland, PA. I have fond memories of my grandfather and I walking to the Isaly’s on the Boulevard of the Allies for a huge ice cream cone. We would then walk across the street to a small park and sit on the park bench where granddad would enjoy his pipe while I savored my ice cream cone. 

—Manny Romanias

I live in Florida now and have yet to meet anyone from here who has heard of chipped ham barbeque. Sounds impossible!! I grew up in New Kensington, PA, and have very fond memories of the Isaly’s on 5th Ave. I dearly loved the chipped ham and Rainbow Skyscrapers. I have got to find some chipped ham!!!

—Vicki Mansfield

Oh my gosh. My dad who is 77 and born and raised in Pittsburgh just made some ham barbecue the other night. I hadn’t cooked and he offered some to take home. Boy does that bring back many memories. We, a family of 10, grew up on chipped ham and to this day I buy it and love it. I like to make hot ham and cheese sandwiches with it. We would go to the Boulevard of the Allies and get our ham and “skyscraper cones.” What a day. I have passed the tradition on to my children with hopes they will do the same.

—Christin Gamble

My Dad and Uncle both worked at Isaly’s on the Blvd. of the Allies in Pittsburgh, and they loved working there! We would stop for ice cream, chipped ham and other tasty treats!!! 


Stephen EcsedyWhen I was a grade schooler us boys would ride our bikes to Isaly’s, about a mile or so from our houses, for the Ice Cream. You could buy a Klondike and there might be a coupon in it for a free one. My family would buy the chipped ham, and it was a treat for us.

—Stephen Ecsedy 

I live in Mansfield, Ohio. When I was a kid in the 60s, there were several Isaly’s Stores in town. We even had an Isaly’s Dairy Plant in town. My wife’s Grandmother worked as a waitress at an Isaly’s store. I sure miss those good ham sandwiches. I liked my ham fried and served on a toasted bun with Heinz Spicy Brown Mustard.

—Timothy D.Ling

We moved to Mars, PA from West View…..but LOVED our dentist appointments because we always knew we could have Isaly’s for a treat. How I so looked forward to those visits. Strange ….how a kid could have good memories of a doctor or dentist visit. THANKS ISALY’S!!!!!

I now am grown and live in KY with my own family……but continue to order from you. Don’t ever stop!!!!!

—Diane Coleman

I remember going to Isaly’s on Main Street in Butler, Pennsylvania, with my Dad when I was little (I’m now 59!) We’d buy chipped chopped ham and longhorn cheese for sandwiches. Yum! I’m so excited to find that my local Giant Eagle has it!

—Debbie Waggoner, Westerville, Ohio

Growing up in Canton, Ohio in the 50′s and early 60′s it was always a treat to go to Isaly’s for ice cream cones. My sister Cindy always ordered maricopa (I think that’s the flavor) and I thought that sounded so exotic. Our family moved to Maryland in the mid 60′s and that ended our trips to Isaly’s, but for some mysterious reason (our parent’s won’t reveal it) that is their secret code word to each other whenever they are going somewhere without the other. They are in their early 80′s now and I don’t think they will ever reveal to us what the word Isaly’s means to them. We find it kind fascinating!

—Tracy Lawrence

I grew up in Beaver Falls, PA and going downtown to Isaly’s was quite the treat for my sisters and I. Mom and dad would pile us in the car, pick up my grandma and aunt, and away we would go. I remember hot fudge sundaes, and banana splits. We wouldn’t leave without getting a pound of chipped ham to take home. My mom was originally from Jeannette, PA and when we would go back to visit her family we would stop at the shop there! What memories!

—Terri Lynn Noss-Hagen

I grew up in Monongahela, PA and remember going just about everyday as a child to Isaly’s. Either for the Klondikes, Chipped ham or those amazing deviled crabs. When I misbehaved it was my trip to Isaly’s that was taken away from you can imagine I didn’t misbehave too much. I now own a hot dog cart in Arizona and whenever I make a trip back to the “burgh” I always bring several pounds of the chipped ham. Until it”s gone I serve an amazing “sammich” for all the Pittsburghers that live out here. I have a great all beef hot dog and then top with a heap of juicy warm Isaly’s chipped ham and some fresh grated Asiago cheese. The “burghers” LOVE IT! And for the moment they are reminded of their childhood back in the Steel city. Thanks Isaly’s for keeping those memories alive. 

—Randy Walters

It was a real treat on Sunday afternoons when we would walk with my Dad to the Isaly’s in Ellwood City for an ice cream cone or Klondike. He would also buy some chipped ham to have for lunches during the week.

I would give anything to be able to walk with my Dad to Isaly’s just 1 more time. 

—Don Mohr

Oh, what memories! I grew up in Clairton, PA in the 50′s and my first job was at the Isaly’s downtown. I don’t get back up north very often now, but my sister from Montreal comes through Pittsburgh on the way to Hendersonville. The last time early this month I had her bring me 5 pounds of the chipped chopped ham. She got a strange look from the deli person and had to explain. This supply of ham was to share with friends who never heard of it, but, most of it went to family over the next week or so.
Sure do miss you guys down here!!

—Morgan Reynolds

I worked for 2 Isaly’s stores in the late 40s, after returning from Europe. Marysville and Columbus, on the east side. Still have pleasant memories of life then. 

—Bob Caldwell

I suspect I bought a zillion Klondike ice cream bars looking for one with a pink center, which netted you one free one. They were very good. 

—Ray Harruff

I’m 57 years old but still have the fondest memories of stopping by Isaly’s in Marion, Ohio, to get a nickel cone. The family favorite was rainbow ice cream…NOT sherbet, but ice cream! No one can duplicate it or ever will. And, yes, the chipped ham was to die for!

Another memory was as a Brownie Scout touring the factory in Marion to watch Klondikes being dipped into the vat of chocolate and then having one to eat at the end of the tour.

I really miss the store, especially because I believe Marion was the home of the business and founder.

—Laura Marshall

My Dad was employed by Isaly's, starting in the early days with the horses. I grew up on Isaly milk and you cannot get that good tasting milk today in Atlanta. What a treat it was to go to Isaly’s in Youngstown for lunch and a skyscraper ice cream cone plus visit with my Dad, plus a very special Aunt and Uncle who were also employed there. We still bring back chipped chopped ham when we go back to Youngstown for a visit. HMMMMMM HMMMMM GOOD!

Yes, I certainly have many fond memories.

—Diana Balas, Fayetteville, GA

Independence Isaly’s

Mention Isaly’s to an Independence, Ohio resident and the first thing they’ll say is “Chipped Chopped Ham!” But for me, Isaly’s was more than ham and the skyscraper ice cream cone.

Working at the Independence, Ohio Isaly’s was my part-time job from 1967 – 1969. I wore a plain white uniform which I hemmed so short that my mother secretly dropped the hem to a more respectable length. I learned to be a short order cook on the run. Eggs “Sunny Side Up” were especially daunting to me – on one morning I broke 9 yolks before the manager threatened to charge me for the next one.

I always felt I had the best job in Independence. Isaly’s was the hangout for all the cool kids from school. Everybody stopped by for a Coke and a little bit of gossip. I often asked to be scheduled for Sunday mornings just to see Ron Chojnacki who, having ditched church, sauntered into Isaly’s with a big cigar and the morning newspaper. At 17, he was a year older than I and so mature! Those Sunday mornings must have meant something to both of us. We reconnected 41 years later and have been dating ever since.

—Nancy Johnson

We used to walk from our home on Fifth Ave. to what we called “the big Isaly’s” on the Blvd. If my mom had the money we’d get a chipped ham sandwich and take it to the park and spend the day. Or we’d just get ice cream and walk back home. It was the most wonderful times back in the 50′s.

—Rosemary Rosenthal

Almost every Saturday my Aunt Ann and I would ride the bus to downtown Pittsburgh to shop in “town”. On our way home we would always get off the bus near the Bloomfield Isaly’s. We ended our shopping days with chocolate milkshakes and cheese crackers. How I loved those trips and looked forward to that milkshake! 

—Kathy McClory Foster

My father used to take me to the Isaly’s store in German Village, Columbus, OH. We always had the same lunch, a ham sandwich and a vanilla phosphate drink. Whenever I now eat Isaly’s chipped chopped ham, it brings back that wonderful memory of my father and me having lunch together. 

—Kristi Bonkowski

Starting round 1962,my dad would take me and my little sister to Isaly's after he did the grocery shopping. I would always get a chocolate skyscraper ice cream cone ,and she would get a chocolate milk shake. It was a rare and Very BIG treat for us!! We loved the skyscraper ice cream cones, but they occasionally toppled off the cone.

We grew up eating Chipped Ham from Isaly’s…

Thanks for the memory!!

—Wendy & Alison

I live far away from Pittsburgh now, but when I was a little girl in the ’70′s, one of the best times of my week was going to Isaly's for a Sundae! My parents and I would go to church in Bellevue PA Sunday mornings, and then they would take me to Isaly’s afterward. As a teenager, my mother and I would go shopping to North Hills Village, and we would usually stop in to eat at the Isaly’s in the mall. Sometimes for dinner, sometimes for a sundae… I loved all the different flavors they had! And then when I babysat the little children next door, I used to take them to Isaly's for ice cream. These are all very precious memories!

—Marianne Farabaugh

I remember growing up as a grandparents lived in Charleroi, Pa. There was an Isaly”s store in downtown Charleroi that my grandmother would take me to for Ice cream. It was a special time shared with her. We would bring chipped ham home to make sandwiches, it was the best chipped ham ever. I have not found any that compares. Thanks for the fond childhood memories!

—Joy King

Until I moved away from Washington, Pa. I had Islay’s Chipped Ham everyday. I ate it my entire life growing up. It wasn’t til I moved around the country that I figured out not all Chipped ham was the same!! Let alone no one else knows how to “shave” it like you!! My father still lives in Washington and every 6 months we either go up to visit or he comes down. There are only 2 things I want him to bring.

1) 5 lbs of Islay’s chipped ham
2) Sarris’ Chocolate from Cannonsburg

I have to now fight of my husband and oldest child (12) to try to make the 5 lbs last past a week and a half!!
My youngest (2) is like me, she loves it fried up and either as a sandwich or with scrambled eggs!!

Thank You for being a part of all my childhood memories!! At all family gatherings, birthdays, picnics, holidays and of course, SUPER BOWL there was ALWAYS a crock-pot full of Isaly’s BBQ chipped ham!!

Come to think of it since leaving Pa. I don’t eat many cold cut sandwiches.
You ARE the BEST!!! 

—April Gillespie

I lived in Aliquippa and there was an Isaly’s store just a block from my home on Moretta Road across from Laughlin School. I always got a cone that was the new style shaped like a pyramid and it was rainbow ice cream. I remember always buying chipped ham to take in my lunch everyday. I still love it and when I used to have super bowl parties I had a friend that would go home from St. Louis every weekend and bring me 5 pounds of it and I’d freeze it and take a little of it every week to have in my sandwiches then too. NO ONE makes it like ISALY’S does, NO ONE. Now, I”m going to a super bowl party this weekend and have no Isaly’s chipped ham. How sad..

—Patricia Monahan Chavez

My grandparents and 4 of their children, and a million of my cousins, all live in the Pittsburgh area. As a kid, I am 54, my family would come to visit. I always heard about Isaly’s and loved their Klondike bars. It wasn’t till my brother and I (he’s 48) were arguing about Klondike bars that I thought to look up your website. Lo and behold another wonderful memory came to me. Isaly’s chipped ham. I had forgotten about that wonderful taste. My Uncle would bring some home and it was gone in a second. I was sad to see I cannot get it here in Texas. Someday I want to bring my husband and daughter to Pittsburgh and we will be buying Isaly’s chipped ham for sure.

—Fran Hoyt, Houston, TX

LyneaMy name is Lynea and I grew up in Swissvale in the 1950′s. Gosh going to the Isaly’s in Swissvale was a treat. But the really big treat was to go to the Carnegie Museum in Oakland and to the Big Isaly's afterwords. How utterly fantastic. I rented an apartment in Swissvale with my small son and the Isaly's was just across the street. My mom stopped in their every day after work to have a cup of coffee before catching the bus up the hill to her house. Adam, my son and I would make a point to stop in and visit. Today, I was remembering the deviled crab tins you could get from the deli.

I live in California now and the picture is of all the family. We all remember Isaly’s nostalgia.


We All Scream For Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. The kids in the neighborhood repeated that mantra whenever the ice cream truck arrived with sounds of nursery rhymes announcing its arrival. Kids begged to go to Isalys for ice cream, saying they were screaming for it. During an exchange of emails, Cynthia and I shared some stories from days gone by, back when we were high school friends. I told her how Mom and I wrapped Klondikes in dry ice to take them to Chicago, whenever we flew there to visit with my Uncle Carl and Aunt Betty. The senses are powerful tools for triggering memories. Memory sense impressions help to store memories. The efficiency of human memory recall is astonishing. Just the sight of those Klondike ice cream squares conjures up memories from past enjoyments. Unwrapping the foil that covered the bars signaled a delight was on the way. The smell and taste, starting with the texture of the chocolate coating, then the smooth vanilla ice cream, led to sounds of enjoyment.

Relax and remember past memories by concentrating on the senses used at the time, coupled with the emotions of the events. Discover a fascinating journey to the land of memories, especially when you compare them to the memories you are creating today, for tomorrow. The brands have changed, my interests have changed, and times have changed. Sense memories have probably magnified the positive effects of the ice cream bar. However, I’ll always enjoy the memory of I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Isaly's ice cream!

—Marcia Casar Friedman

I am originally from Titusville, PA . However, I have lived outside Augusta, Georgia for the past 25 years. While we were visiting family in Titusville this summer my wife discovered a jar of the barbecue sauce in a grocery store. I couldn’t believe it because after all of these years I thought Isaly’s had completely gone out of business. There used to be an Isaly’s store in Titusville until it closed probably 45 years ago. I absolutely LOVED eating the barbecue sandwiches until the store closed its doors forever so many years ago. The ladies that worked there knew just how much I loved them because I normally would eat 3 of them every time I visited the store. Anyway, after I ordered my third sandwich one day one of the counter ladies handed me a folded piece of paper and told me to give it to my mother. She said as much as I love the barbecue sandwiches she wanted my mother to have the recipe. Ever since that day so many years ago, I still eat barbecue sandwiches using the original recipe the lady gave me. As a matter of fact, my wife just finished making a batch (2 lbs of meat) for tomorrow’s lunch. By the way, I still eat 3 of them!!

—Lee Irwin

I was born and raised in Titusville, PA. In the mid sixties I worked at the bank across the street from Isaly’s. Every morning before work a few of us “regulars” would meet for coffee at Isaly’s. I’ve lived in the SF Bay Area for 44 years now. I really miss my small town days and Isaly’s is a particularly good memory. Ice cream, chip chopped ham with BBQ sauce, dill pickles! I would kill for a chip chopped ham sandwich with BBQ sauce!!

—Barbara Edwards Martinez

A Sunday Tradition

On Sundays my dad would stop after church and buy a pound of Isaly’s Chipped Chopped Ham from Isaly’s. That evening he would whip up something special with it…and he always served it on toast and thought he was serving something good that night – which he was!

—Cathy Jones


Share Your Isaly’s Memories

To share your own Isaly’s memories, click here.