First Hershey’s Ice Cream Encounter
Hershey’s Ice Cream and I have a history. My first job was working at Mann-O-Mann Ice Cream Scoop Shop in Essex Junction, Vermont. Hershey’s was our premium ice cream with a cone selling for 60 cents. Hood Ice Cream was our standard and that sold for 55 cents a scoop. Plop the scoop onto a sugar cone and the price jumped another nickel.
Mr. O’Brien and his wife owned the shop. They opened in the morning starting with breakfast service and then into lunch. Nora worked there full-time during the week along with the O’Briens. In the afternoons, when I came to work after school, the kitchen was closed and ice cream creations were the only thing on the menu. I often worked alone because traffic was slow during the dinner hour and Mr. O’Brien trusted to me to run the store and do the evening cash-out. (Or maybe he was just too tired and wanted to go home!)
Being entrusted with running the shop at just 16 years old, I treated it as my own business. I took real pride in serving my customers. And you really can’t beat watching the smiles as you hand over glorious sundaes piled high with whipped cream and the milk shake mixing cup because there was too much to fit in the serving cup.
I remember our high school boys tennis team coming in after winning a championship. All wanted banana splits and there were no bananas in the store — it was a weekday and banana splits weren’t normally big sellers until the weekend. With no one but me in the store, I made the managerial decision to discount each split by 15 cents, the same amount we increased the price of any other dessert when we added a banana.
I’m guessing Mr. O, as I called him, made out on that deal. He smiled when I told him what I did …. there was no reprimand.
Ice Cream Busy Time
Weekends were the most fun. Always busy. I would have ice cream up the back of my arm. Washing my hands meant washing up to my elbows. When there were no customers, it was time to refill sauces, scrape down ice cream from the sides of the ice cream tubs, replace tubs that were almost empty, wipe down counters and dining tables and so much more.
I considered myself chief of quality control too. That meant that I would have to periodically taste samples. I learned that from Mr. O. He was the expert quality control person!
What’s the Relation with Ben & Jerry’s?
Mr. O ended up selling Mann-O-Mann to the first Ben & Jerry’s franchisee just as my senior year in high school was ending. I remember the new owner coming in so I could train him on the ice cream scooping business. Of course, Ben & Jerry’s presented themselves differently than our little ice cream shop. But I have the pleasure of saying that I was there at the beginning of the Ben & Jerry’s franchisee business!
My Own Business with Hershey’s
Early in our marriage and not too many years after I graduated college, my husband and I opened a deli in the town we lived in Vermont. We had a frozen yogurt machine and an ice cream cabinet with about 8 flavors of Hershey’s Ice Cream. After all, I had a history with Hershey’s. I got to teach our high school staff how to scoop and scrape down the tubs and all that other fun stuff. I wonder how many of them became quality control specialists?!?!
Your Hershy’s Ice Cream Experience
Get your taste of Hershey’s Ice Cream at the scoop shop in Times Square in Fort Myers Beach. Use the walk to and from our Beach Delight vacation rental to justify the indulgence. My photo shows two scoops – One is Salted Bananas Foster (top) and a double flavor on the bottom called “Seasalt Caramel and Cookies and Cream.” This was the first time I’ve had either of these flavors and now I would highly recommend both. Yum!