Experiences with Schwan's Delivery Service
November 2, 2009 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience with Schwan's Food Delivery service? Are they a good value?

I had never heard of the company before I saw them mentioned on Top Chef, so I checked them out and saw that their delivery charge seemed actually more than reasonable. Is it really or is the idea of $1.00 too good to be true?

Has anyone tried them before? Are they a good deal? What's a must-order?
posted by inturnaround to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My family used them religiously in the 1980s and 1990s. Quality was always superb, prices were reasonable, and home delivery was a swell perk. Don't remember any particular product being a let-down.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:27 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

We used to get their ice cream stuff delivered when I was a kid. I loved their drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches. But, I haven't had them since 1986, so it could have changed.
posted by hwyengr at 5:32 PM on November 2, 2009

We used them in the late 90's; we actually heard about them because they went door to door and gave everyone in our neighborhood a goody bag full of ice cream to let us know they were serving our area (that was the greatest.day.ever). Loved everything we bought from them; their mocha almond fudge ice cream is insanely good. Their delivery/sales people were always super friendly and professional.
posted by wiretap at 5:46 PM on November 2, 2009

The quality of their food is really good and they have a wide variety of things to choose from, but their prices are much higher than what you'd pay for comparable foods at the grocery store. You just have to decide if the convenience of home delivery is worth the cost.
posted by amyms at 5:49 PM on November 2, 2009

Their deep-dish mini-pizza things are worth a try as well.
posted by aheckler at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2009

While I was home, I found out about them. My uncle has them deliver all kinds of things. The delivery guy was on a first name basis with my uncle, came out to the backyard to chat, was well versed on the products the company carried, made personal recommendations (leading to the purchase of some particularly delicious strawberry creamcicles) and all around seemed to be a pretty decent guy.

And they deliver bacon to your door, and lo, the bacon is delicious.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:11 PM on November 2, 2009

Oh, man. My mom ordered from them in the 90s - we demanded AMERICAN food, she didn't want to cook it, everybody won. We mostly ordered entrees that could be heated up in the oven or microwave - they're all fake super-processed food and generally pretty high on the crap-o-meter, nutrition-wise, but they're as tasty as anything like that can be. We liked the pot pies. Mmmmm, frozen pot pie.
posted by peachfuzz at 6:13 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My parents still have Schwan's delivered on a bi-weekly basis and I can say, after years of investigation and research, their ice cream is still TOTALLY DELICIOUS. They have a lot of flavors of ice cream that aren't really offered at the grocery stores in my parent's town, so that alone is worth it, and it really isn't that much pricer than Edy's, and totally more delicious.

Also, I know my nieces and nephew really, really, REALLY love their chicken tenders and chicken pieces. The chicken pieces are significantly tastier than the run-of-the-mill chicken nuggests/tenders from Tyson or the like.

Oh, and sidenote, my parent's Schwan's man was the same guy for almost seven years and would bring treats for my parent's dog and always remembered our birthdays and our favorite flavors of ice cream and would give us a half gallon of ice cream for our birthdays. Super nice. He finally retired and now that have a new guy who always gives mini ice cream sandwiches to my nieces and nephew. I've heard other really great stuff about their delivery people and honestly, just from what I've seen, they are wonderful and will always carry everything down to my parent's deep-freeze in the basement.
posted by banannafish at 6:16 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've been ordering from the Schwan's guy for (counts on fingers) 10 years now. They are usually not the cheapest around, but the quality is as good as or better than supermarket, and the frozen stuff is kept frozen (which is nice in the summer when you're 20 minutes or more from the grocer). (Cheap isn't the only way to shop -- if it gets thrown away rather than eaten, you've not saved any money.) The deal-breaker will probably be if they deliver in your area -- they don't have 100% US coverage.

Ice cream novelties are yummy, and well worth the extra $$, if you can even find them locally. Certainly cheaper than the ice cream truck :). The strawberry palettas are wonderful. My kids love the root beer floats. The apple pie bites are a great quick dessert with cinnamon ice cream.

We order mostly snackage -- sandwich pockets, ice cream sandwiches, quesadillas, chicken patties, fish. Their pizzas are good, but my Schwan's guy knows that I usually buy them at the store -- Red Baron is their retail brand, and if you get it on sale it's usually much cheaper at the grocer than off the truck.
posted by jlkr at 6:34 PM on November 2, 2009

My parents started ordering from them sometime in the mid-90's and as a kid I LOVED their ice cream and frozen orange/strawberry bars. The delivery people were always nice and friendly and helped us carry things in and stow them. Their ready-made dinners are fairly nutritious and are tasty. My parents still order from Schwann's and I'm considering it for their tasty easy dinners.

Any time we had complaints, they took care of it quickly and easily. They give a lot of latitude to their drivers, which makes up for their slightly higher prices.
posted by bookdragoness at 6:51 PM on November 2, 2009

As teens in the early to mid-90s, my sister and I ate a lot of the mini-pizzas. From what I can tell from conversations with my mother, she still buys things from them.
posted by mmascolino at 7:04 PM on November 2, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all. Looks like I might give them a try. :)
posted by inturnaround at 7:13 PM on November 2, 2009

I don't know if you're interested in alternatives, but both Safeway and Albertson's also do home delivery. The delivery fee is higher, but the prices are more competitive.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:24 PM on November 2, 2009

We used to have them, mostly used them as a backup - always had something in the freezer for me to eat. I was always eating.

They were great, and a fairly good value, but they did knock the truck into a pillar at the end of our driveway once. I swear that's why my parents stopped getting it. Damn.
posted by InsanePenguin at 7:35 PM on November 2, 2009

My parents were also big fans of "The Schwann Guy" back in the 90's, and I also have to vote for the ice cream. It is really good stuff.

The meat is really pretty good, we would usually get some steaks for grilling.

My hubby and I would get deliveries when we were first married until we moved to an area that was not on a delivery route. I remember they had some kind of Philly Cheesesteak sandwich pockets that were very tasty. If they still have them, I highly recommend those.

Our experience with the delivery person was always great. I don't know if they go through training to be so cheerful, but they were all really nice. The driver would just show up on his appointed day and ask you what you want. The truck is stocked, so you just tell them right then what you want and they get it for you.

It is quite convenient, and the food is good. The portion sizes are on the small side, but healthy. The prices are higher than what you'd pay at the supermarket, but not above what you might pay at a 'gourmet' grocery store. There are no contracts, and if you don't want anything at that delivery there is no pressure.

My experience was close to 10 years ago, so YMMV.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:50 PM on November 2, 2009

I was married to a Schwan's man and can tell you that they go through intensive training on their products, including cost comparison research. You can find similar products much cheaper at the supermarket but if you compare top grade to top grade, they are pretty competitive considering they bring it to your door.

You can also pre-order online for added convenience and be sure they have what you want on the truck when they show up. It's not at all uncommon for them to run out of the good stuff early.

To add to what others have said, people do get attached to their Schwan's man and vice versa. My former hubby used to bring home gifts for me from his customers. He told one elderly woman that I collected snowglobes so each Christmas she would buy me one and send with him. On the flip side, he bought stuff off his own truck for a customer who couldn't afford to get her kids the treats they wanted.
posted by justlisa at 8:14 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I quite fondly remember the Schwans man. There is one that parks his truck in the town I now live in and people stop and pick up stuff, but I haven't visited him. I may investigate the online ordering though.
My top suggestions would be:
Tin Roof Sundae. Not sure if its a product they still sell, but HOLY SHIT its awesome.
English Toffee Bars
Chocolate Malt Pushems
Pecan Praline Sundae Ice Cream. Quite possibly the best ice cream I have ever had in my entire life. I have searched for this for years. Fuck it. Ordering online ASAP.
The Sausage Gravy Biscuits. With the Sausage And the Gravy and the adl;kfjasd;flkasjdf I think I may have just had a moment thinking about them.

Wait.. maybe the fact that I haven't seen the schwans man in so long is part of why I've lost so much weight..
Oh well!
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:25 PM on November 2, 2009

We had a Schwann's Man when I was a kid. I wonder whether they still make root beer float bars... That alone might be enough to get me to sign up. Imagine a Creamsicle, but with ROOT BEER POPSICLE surrounding the ice cream instead of orange. Simply awesome. Drumsticks were always a favorite too.
posted by usonian at 8:36 PM on November 2, 2009

Our Schwan's guy (who came to our workplace) looked and sounded just like Tim (the Tool Man) Taylor and had just as great a sense of humor. We knew all about his family: wife, 6 kids, & 2 dogs. He never pressured us to buy - he didn't have to, because the food was so good and convenient. I don't remember there being a delivery "charge". It was just built in to the price of the food, as I recall.

I loved the tamales, which eventually were discontinued to my dismay. The perogies, mesquite grilled chicken, stuffed baked potatoes, pancakes, & pies were some of my favorites.

Thanks for the memories - now you've got me wondering what ever happened to "Tim"!
posted by ourroute at 8:47 PM on November 2, 2009

Another positive vote, I love Schwan's. They used to have this item called the Taco Barquito that was AMAZING, they don't stock it any more though :(

They have some great stuff, though. Convenient, too.
posted by DMan at 8:49 PM on November 2, 2009

My parents ordered regularly from them until about five years ago, when Mom got sick. We loved their pot pies, their chicken cordon bleu, and their meatballs. That their ice cream is superlative goes without saying.

I was actually just thinking the other day that I want to find out if they deliver to my area. This is a good reminder to check!
posted by magstheaxe at 5:52 AM on November 3, 2009

You can also pre-order online for added convenience and be sure they have what you want on the truck when they show up.

So does that mean you don't have to pre-order? That would be neat.
posted by smackfu at 6:18 AM on November 3, 2009

smack-fu:So does that mean you don't have to pre-order? That would be neat.

that is correct. You do not have to preorder. I usually don't, unless there's something I really want. There've only been a couple of times when stuff I wanted wasn't on the truck, and both times the warehouse didn't have any either; so even pre-ordering wouldn't have nad a difference. Busier or longer routes, it's sometimes easier to preorder, but it's not necessary.
posted by jlkr at 7:37 AM on November 3, 2009

Aw, man, I forgot all about the Schwan's Guy. Yes, yes, yes, do it. The delivery people are really nice and the food is yummy. They used to make this insane thing that was like a cheesebread ring with sauce in the middle. I'd get about eight of those if I could find them now.

My parents stopped getting it as much when both their kids went off to college, but one night my (by then pretty sick) mother was really craving one of their ice cream bars. My dad declared, "I'll go find the Schwan's guy," and bounced out of his chair. He wandered out in the South Dakota winter with no coat on as my mom yukked it up on the couch. Turned out the Schwan's guy was at that moment right down the street.

As my mom told the story later, she was just starting to wonder which of the neighbors he'd started talking to when he came back with a whole box full of ice cream bars.
posted by lauranesson at 9:11 AM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

I think every person who grew up in rural Iowa has fond memories of the Schwann's guy. When that pale yellow truck came rolling down your gravel road, you started dreaming of orange push-up pops. My aunt was a huge fan of Shwann's and the freezer on the back porch was always full of the awesome stuff my mom would never buy - drumsticks, fudgepops, oh god the glory of my aunt's freezer. My mom bought frozen chicken breasts and then burned the fuck out of them but that was not the fault of the Schwann's guy. The boxes were incredibly handy and most of my dad's garage is organized into chicken breast boxes. My grandma swore the only thing that would shut up the herd of grandkids that descended on her house in the summer was to break open a box of Schwann's ice cream bars and get out the five decks of Uno cards it took to deal that many kids into one game.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:53 AM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

another yes vote. their frozen vegetables are great for when veggies are out of season- like asparagus and peas etc. strawberry and fudge bars are good too.
posted by domino at 11:06 AM on November 3, 2009


you owe it to yourself to order a box of strawberry creamsicles, for they were the best frozen novelty on the menu. just incredible.

me and my junk food-addled brother did diligent investigation in the 1980s to provide you with this critical Schwan's tidbit.

posted by porn in the woods at 6:09 PM on November 6, 2009

(and the delivery people were always happy and just ridiculously nice, the best people in the world. we loved our delivery guy - my god, what are they putting in the water at Schwan's HQ?)
posted by porn in the woods at 6:13 PM on November 6, 2009

« Older Is Green Tea Good for You even when it's cold?   |   My new thinking technique is unstoppable! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.