As the story goes, on Memorial Day weekend of 1934, Tom Carvel, the founder of the Carvel brand and franchise, had a flat tire in his ice cream truck. As a savory business person, he began selling his melting ice cream to cars driving by. What started as a potential loss of his inventory due to melting became a potentially good business ideas. In 1936, Carvel opened his first store and also developed a soft serve ice cream formula and a patented low temperature ice cream machine.
Dairy Queen also claims to have invented soft serve. In 1938, J. F. McCullough and his son, Alex, developed their soft serve formula.