NICRA 2009 Convention Review
New Officers and Board of Directors Elected
The National Ice Cream Retailers Association elected new officers and board members at the 76th Annual Convention held November 4-7, 2009 at the Chaparral Suites Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Elected as president of the association was Bob Turner, Dairy Corner, Urbana, Ohio. Lynn Dudek, Ruth Ann’s Ice Cream, No. Muskegon, Michigan was elected as president elect. Dan Messer, Eskamoe’s Frozen Custard & More, Monroe, Louisiana was elected vice president. David Zimmermann, Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, Bonita Springs, Florida was elected secretary/treasurer. Vince Giordano, Sno Top, Ltd., Manlius New York becomes immediate past president.
Elected to the board of directors for three year terms were: Carl Chaney, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Cliff Freund, Cliff’s Dairy Maid, Blairstown, New Jersey; Juergen Kloo, Joy Cone Co., Hermitage, Pennsylvania; John Pitchford, JP’s Custard Cart, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Joe Venuti, Bedford Farms Ice Cream, Bedford, Massachusetts. Terms will expire with the November 2012 Annual Meeting.
The National Ice Cream Retailers Suppliers Association officers are elected for two year terms.
Elected as president of the association was Margaret Anderson, Taylor Freezer of New England, Norwood, Massachusetts. Tom Zak, Concord Foods, Brockton, MA was elected vice president. Mary Kircher, Dingman’s Dairy, Paterson, NJ was elected as secretary/treasurer. Rich Draper, The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, Florida becomes chairman.
Ice Cream Clinic Review
The ice cream is scored, according to color, texture, taste, bacterial count, and many other factors. Blue Ribbons are awarded to those scoring the highest marks, then Red Ribbons, and White Ribbons.
The following winners received their certificates at the Association’s 76th Annual Convention, held November 4-7, 2009 at the Chaparral Suites Hotel, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Vanilla Ice Cream: Blue Ribbons
Next year the Ice Cream Clinic Review will examine vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
“Honey Sunflower” Gelato Named Your Best New Flavor
“Honey Sunflower” Gelato was named your best new flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Chaparral Suites Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 4-7, 2009. Your Best New Flavor contest is held each year in conjunction with the Ice Cream Clinic Review at the annual meeting.
The ice cream is formulated and produced by Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery, Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The company won the coveted First Place for its new flavor. A total of 30 new flavors were submitted by NICRA member companies. Each flavor is sampled by convention attendees and a vote is taken by ballot at the meeting. The winner was announced during the annual banquet at the end of the meeting. Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Twp., Mich., won second place for Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream. Izzy’s Ice Cream Café, LLC, St. Paul, Minn. took third place for Midnight Snack Ice Cream. Honorable Mentions were given to Here’s Your Scoop, Lee’s Summit, Missouri for Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream; The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, Fla. for Red Raspberry Truffle Ice Cream; and Springer’s Homemade Ice Cream, Stone Harbor, N.J. for Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream.
“Caramel Latte” Gelato Named Best Coffee Flavor
“Caramel Latte” Gelato was named the best coffee flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Chaparral Suites Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 4-7, 2009. The Best Flavor contest is held each year in conjunction with the Ice Cream Clinic Review at the annual meeting.
The ice cream is formulated and produced by Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery, Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The company won the coveted First Place for its flavor. A total of 23 new coffee flavors were submitted by NICRA members. Each flavor is sampled by convention attendees and a vote is taken by ballot at the meeting. The winner was announced during the annual banquet at the end of the meeting. Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Twp., Mich. took second place for Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream and third place went to Springer’s Homemade Ice Cream, Stone Harbor, N.J. for Coffee Oreo Ice Cream. Honorable Mentions went to The Double Dip, Lebanon, Ohio for Capucino Almond Fudge Ice Cream and Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Twp., Mich. for Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream.
Ten Students Win Bryce Thomson Scholarship Awards
During the Bryce Thomson Silent and Live Auctions recently held during the annual meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, it was announced that ten employees of member stores will each be receiving a scholarship award.
winners and amounts of the award are:
This year, during the silent and live auctions in Scottsdale, $15,673 was raised for the Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund. The suppliers also agreed to contribute $3,000 and the Board approved another $2,000 contribution. Janet Mitchell and Barbara Venuti, who coordinated both the silent and live auctions, did an outstanding job and the association is grateful to them. The association would like to thank everyone who donated an article for the auctions and also everyone who attended the convention and were so generous with their donations.
The Bryce Thomson Scholarship was established in 1995 to honor Bryce Thomson, a long time member and past president of the association and author of the monthly association publication, “The Sundae School Newsletter.” He worked for Miller Dairy in Eaton Rapids, Michigan for 40 years and eventually became president of the company. He is the originator of the “Ice Cream Sundae Poll,” and the “Education Through Ice Cream” program which assisted a number of secondary schools with a teaching and learning concept in which students served up frozen treats during the noon hour in an actual in-school ice cream parlor. The first, called the “Cold Tongue Ice Cream Parlor” was set up in Eaton Rapids, Michigan High School in 1973.
Queen City Creamery & Deli Wins Promotion of the Year Award
The 22nd Annual Promotion of the Year Award was presented to Terry & Rick Michels, Queen City Creamery & Deli, Cumberland, MD at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association 76th Annual Meeting held at the Chaparral Suites Resort, November 4-7, 2009.
A total of seven Association members submitted entries for consideration of the award. The other six members were Colorado City Creamery, Colorado Springs, CO; Double Dip, Lebanon, Ohio; Four Seas Ice Cream, Centerville, MA; Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, TX; Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery, Kittanning, PA; and Spring Dipper, Mammoth Spring, AR. Summaries of all of the promotions were printed in the November/December 2009 issue of The National Dipper Magazine.
The goal of the promotion was to increase sales, bring in new customers and make money for non-profit organizations. The plan was to invite non-profit organizations to develop a unique sundae, promote sales amongst their members, and earn monetary rewards for their sustainable efforts over a 6-week time period.
Terry and Rick are great fans of the reality show, Survivor, and thought it would be fun to develop a promotion based on the show’s mantra of “Outsmart, Outwit, Outlast”. We called the promotion Survivor Sundae: The Holy Wars. The idea is that six non-profit groups would create a unique sundae and develop a strategy that would enable them to sustain sales of that sundae for six weeks running. The number of sundaes sold was tallied each Monday morning and the lowest selling sundae each week was eliminated. The organization would receive $1 for each sundae sold, a $25 bonus for each week they were the top seller and an elimination consolation prize, which increases each week as well. So there was a great incentive to stay in the contest as long as possible.
We ran this promotion in the fall for the last five years, with moderate success. But this year we made two changes, resulting in amazing success. First of all we changed the time of the event from fall to late winter (February 15 to March 22). Secondly, we invited church based youth groups to participate, rather than charity groups whose members were adults. We sent out invitations to 24 different churches in our community, all denominations. We only wanted six participants and surprisingly, exactly six responded. We invited them to send an adult sponsor and a committee of three from each group to a general information meeting, where we explained the program and gave them the parameters of creating their sundaes. Additionally, a representative from each group was asked to be a “Celebrity Dipper” for one hour the first Sunday of the competition.
It was such fun watching the kids create and name their sundaes, and they were so enthusiastic that they wanted to “Celebrity Dip” every Sunday afternoon. So we made up a weekly schedule for them, with their times increasing as groups were eliminated. The contest took off with a bang, selling 96 Holy Wars Sundaes the first day. We sent out morning e-mail challenges to the adult sponsors, telling them of the previous day’s sales for each group, so everyone knew where they stood each day, except Sundays. This was the day where numbers could change drastically. By the end of the first week, we sold a total of 386 sundaes. And remember, this is February.
All of the groups’ members ranged in age from 12 to 17, and even though some congregations were large, each youth group had only 6 to 15 members. Each group was told they could advertise any way they wanted (at their own cost) to increase their sales and the results were very creative. Not only parents and grandparents, but the entire congregation became involved, with the pastors reminding members from the pulpit to be sure to stop at the Creamery to buy their Survivor Sundaes before they went home. Parents were printing and distributing flyers, kids were in costumes on street corners around our store flagging in customers, and signs were posted in churchyards telling everyone to buy their sundae. Our store was decorated with a jungle theme as well, and our staff was eager to explain the contest to people from out of town or anyone who was unaware.
Sundays were truly wild and crazy days as the kids hustled their sundaes to anyone who walked in the door. We even had customers ordering and paying for sundaes and not actually taking them, just so their kids would get credit. The pastors were ecstatic that their youth groups were finally getting some support and recognition from their congregations.
At the end of the six weeks, we held an awards ceremony, handing out plaques and checks to all participants. The local newspaper was there to photograph the winners and wrote a huge article about the contest. The winning sundae was called “Gimme Gimme S’more” and totaled 534 sales. It was also the top seller for three weeks. Other sundae names were Hard to Resist Temptation; Chocolate Raspberry Heaven; Gaffy’s Sundae Sin; Eternal Joy and Lazy Sundae. So in addition to the sundaes sales dollars, this group took the Grand Prize of $200 and a $75 bonus, which gave them a total of $804. All in all we sold 1,379 sundaes and gave away $2,088. We had countless new customers in the store who bought much more than ice cream sundaes. And we have lots of churches asking if their youth groups can participate next year. In comparison to the same time period last year, our ice cream sales doubled, and total sales were up 25%, giving us a great jump start for the season. Plus, we contributed to some very deserving and struggling programs and had a great time doing it.