ClearLight backs Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream

ClearLight Partners has invested in Ohio-based ice cream chain Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

ClearLight Partners has made an investment in Youngstown, Ohio-based Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, an ice cream chain. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal that was done in partnership with Handel owner Leonard Fisher.


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Private equity firm ClearLight Partners announced today that it has made an investment in Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, a franchisor of premium ice cream scoop shops, in partnership with Handel’s owner Leonard Fisher. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, the Handel’s story started in 1945 when Alice Handel began serving ice cream out of her husband’s gas station. Alice’s first batches were made using old fashioned recipes with fresh fruit she picked from her own backyard. Since then, Handel’s has grown to include nearly fifty corporate and franchised locations in California, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Utah, Texas and Oregon. The menu has also expanded and now includes over 100 flavors of homemade ice cream. All ice cream is made in the store, with batches made fresh daily at each location. “We knew Handel’s was special from the moment we were introduced to the business,” commented Andrew Brennan, a Partner at ClearLight. “The welcoming culture of the Company, the incredible focus of the team on simply making great ice cream, the fanaticism of its customer base, and the taste and quality of its ice cream itself were all inspiring to us. This partnership represents a chance to introduce the fabulous Handel’s ice cream experience to more people across the country and to continue to delight children, adults and families with a product that Alice Handel would be proud of.”

“It has been a pleasure working with ClearLight given their strong background in helping franchised concepts and other consumer brands to grow,” said Leonard Fisher, CEO of Handel’s. “I knew early on that we had a shared vision for how to support Handel’s growth while preserving the brand’s core values and continuing to invest in the quality ingredients and process that make Handel’s ice cream the best there is. Together, we are looking to become to many more people what we already are to our customers – America’s favorite scoop shop!”

“We are thrilled to partner with Leonard and bring Handel’s to new communities, we are very excited about our future together,” said Michael Kaye, Managing Partner at ClearLight.

About ClearLight Partners
ClearLight Partners is a private equity firm in Southern California that invests in established, profitable middle-market companies with significant growth potential. Since inception, ClearLight has raised $900 million in capital across three funds from a single limited partner. The team at ClearLight has extensive operating and financial experience and has a history of successfully partnering with owners and management teams to drive growth and create value.

For more information, please visit