2007 Convention Review

Jun 18, 2014

View 2007 Convention Schedule

New Officers and Board of Directors Elected

The National Ice Cream Retailers Association elected new officers and board members at the 74th Annual Convention held November 7-10, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Elected as president of the association was Jim Mitchell, Woodside Farm Creamery, Hockessin, Delaware. Vince Giordano, Sno Top, Ltd., Manlius, New York was elected president elect and Bob Turner was elected vice president. Lynn Dudek, Ruth Ann’s Ice Cream, No. Muskegon, Michigan was elected secretary/treasurer. Mark Leichtman, Columbia, Maryland becomes immediate past president.

Elected to the board of directors for three year terms were: Nanette Frey, Frey’s Tasty Treat, Inc., East Amherst, NY; Jeff Myers, The Double Dip, Lebanon, OH; Charles Page, Page Dairy Mart, Pittsburgh, PA; Dick Warren, Four Seas Ice Cream, Centerville, MA; and Kasia Wilk, Lucks Food Decorating, Tacoma, WA. Dan Messer, Eskamoe’s Frozen Custard, Monroe, LA and David Zimmermann, Royal School Homemade Ice Cream, Bonita Springs, FL were appointed to fulfill the unfulfilled terms of two Board Members. Their term of office will expire in 2008.

Supplier Officers Elected

The National Ice Cream Retailers Suppliers Association elected their officers at the 74th Annual Convention held November 7-10, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Antonio, Texas.

Elected as president of the association was Rich Draper, The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, Florida. Tom Zak, Concord Foods, Brockton, MA was elected vice president. Margaret Anderson, Taylor Freezer of New England, Norwood, Massachusetts was elected as secretary/treasurer. Jay Rentschler, Upstate Farms Cooperative, Buffalo, New York becomes chairman.

Ice Cream Clinic Review

Each year, members of The National Ice Cream Retailers Association, who make their own ice cream, submit samples of their ice cream to a professor of dairy science and an independent laboratory, prior to the Annual Convention, to be analyzed and compared to ice cream standards.  This year Dr. Johnny McGregor, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina analyzed samples of vanilla and strawberry ice cream submitted by members of the association.

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 Annual Convention, held November 7-10, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Vanilla Ice Cream: Blue Ribbons
Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Township, MI (Vanilla, Vanilla Bean & French Vanilla)
Capannari Ice Cream, Mt. Prospect, IL
Diamond Star Ventures, Inc. dba Classics Frozen Custard (Frozen Custard), Ruidoso, NM
Gifford’s Dairy Inc., Skowhegan, ME
Karen’s Kreamery, Surprise, AZ
MaggieMoo’s International, Norcross, GA
Smith Dairy, Orrville, OH
Sno Top Ltd., Manlius, NY

Vanilla Ice Cream: Red Ribbons
Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Williamsville, NY
Corn Hill Creamery, Rochester, NY
Chocolate Shopppe Ice Cream (Old Fashioned Vanilla), Madison, WI

Vanilla Ice Cream: White Ribbons
Avondale Dairy Bar, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
Smith Dairy Products Co., Orrville, OH (Organic Vanilla Bean), Orrville, OH

Strawberry Ice Cream: Blue Ribbons
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, WI
Gifford’s Dairy Inc., Skowhegan, ME
Karen’s Kreamery, Surprise, AZ
Smith Dairy Products Co., Orrville, OH

Strawberry Ice Cream: Red Ribbons
Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Williamsville, NY
Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Township, MI
Avondale Dairy Bar, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
Double Dip, Lebanon, OH
MaggieMoo’s International, Norcross, GA

Strawberry Ice Cream: White Ribbon
Corn Hill Creamery, Rochester, NY

Next year the Ice Cream Clinic Review will examine vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

“Magic Cookie” Ice Cream Named Best New Flavor

“Magic Cookie”  Ice Cream was named the best new flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel  in San Antonio, Texas November 7-10, 2007. The 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 Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Township, Michigan. The company won the coveted First Place for its new flavor. A total of 25 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 Township, Michigan also won second place for Almond Cherry Streusel Ice Cream. The Double Dip in Lebanon, Ohio took third place for Raspberry Lemon Gelato. Honorable Mentions were given to Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, Wisconson for Yippee Skippee Ice Cream and Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery for Belgian Waffle Ice Cream.

“Coconut Almond Crunch” Ice Cream Named Best Tropical or Ethnic Fruit Flavor

“Cocount Almond Crunch”  Ice Cream was named the best tropical or ethnic fruit flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, Texas November 7-10, 2007. 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 Corn Hill Creamery, Rochester, New York. The company won the coveted First Place for its flavor. A total of 14 new tropical or ethnic fruit 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 Township, Michigan took second place for Last Mango in Paradise Ice Cream and third place went to Karen’s Kreamery, Surpirse, Arizona for Mexican Peach Sorbet. Honorable Mentions went to Smith Dairy, Orrville, Ohio for Tropical Burst Ice Cream and Clear River Pecan Co. for Pina Colada Ice Cream.

Ten Students Win Bryce Thomson Scholarship Awards

During the Bryce Thomson Silent and Live Auctions recently held during the annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, it was announced that ten employees of member stores will each be receiving a scholarship award. The winners and amounts of the award are:

Blanca Castaneda, Homestead Creamery, Inc. Wirtz, VA ($3,500)
Ellen Smith, Moo’s Homemade Ice Cream, Derry, NH ($2,500)
Kristy Callahan, Spring Dipper, Mammoth Spring, AR ($2,500)
Chase Davis, Tradewinds Ice Cream & Coffee, Savannah, GA ($2,000)
Anet Dishmon, Lakeside Creamery, Deep Creek, MD ($1,500)
Jessica Sypolt, Lakeside Creamery, Deep Creek, MD ($1,000)
Elizabeth Chaney, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, KY ($1,000)
Alysha Nolder, Anderson’s, Williamsville, NY ($1,000)
Ashley Stuck, Lakeside Creamery, Deep Creek, MD ($1,000)
Jamie Whitman, Kimball Farm Inc., Westford, MA ($1,000)

This year, during the silent and live auctions in San Antonio, $17,916.00 was raised for the Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund. The suppliers also agreed to contribute $2,000 and the Board approved another $2,000 contribution. Laurie Oringer and Janet Mitchell, 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 coveted “ice cream cone hat” went to Holly Anderson, Anderson’s Frozen Custard; Joe Venutti, Bedford Farms; Jim Mitchell, Woodside Farm Creamery; Rich Pizzi, The Creamery at Pizzi Farms; and Lynda Utterback, The National Dipper and will be returned next year and auctioned at the live auction. Total contributions amounted to $4,800. Competition is heating up for this item.

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.

Ray Sheehan, Avondale Dairy Bar Named Forrest Mock Person of the Year

Ray Sheehan, Avondale Dairy Bar, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada was named the Forrest Mock Person of the Year at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual meeting held November 7-10, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The award is sponsored by The National Dipper Magazine and Lynda Utterback, publisher was on hand to present the award.

His friend said it best, he is a close friend, but also an example of a person focused in life and in business. He is a NICRA man and lives out the principles of NICRA, sharing ideas, caring for others, working with others to make the association better for everyone. And he was in the right place at the right time for this association.

But let me tell you about him personally first. At twelve years old he began his working career, picking strawberries. Two years later he moved on to work at Avondale Variety store. At 15 he worked for the city of St. Catharines parks board, cutting lawns and doing various maintenance and landscaping jobs in the city parks. By the time he was 16 he was delivering pizzas and driving a taxi. During school he played basketball, football, baseball, hockey and was a jogger.

He went to Brock University in St. Catharines and took some political courses, but quickly realized politics were not for him. So he switched to business and received a business degree, with honors.

In 1974 he took a job at Beatrice Foods, working in the shipping department, loading milk trucks. A year later he was moved to the lab where he tested the ice cream and milk that was made in the plant. And he was also put in charge of quality control for the plant. He became an assistant manager and was in charge of 140 employees. During this time the plant included a dairy bar which was also his responsibility to run.

Beatrice wanted to move him to Salt Saint Marie to manage a dairy there. It did not appeal to him because there was nothing in the town but the dairy and a few thousand people. So he bought the dairy bar he was managing and that’s how it all began. He took the Penn State ice cream short course and started making his own ice cream. He needed a batch freezer so he drove to Dick Warren’s shop on Cape Cod and brought home an old machine. He put it together and to this day it is still running. He will not part with it. He says it makes the best ice cream.

He joined NICRA in 1986 and served on the Board of Directors for many years and agreed to “go through the chairs” and become an officer of the association. Lynda said that he was in the right place at the right time for this association. It was during the time that the previous executive director retired and she took over the management of the association that she really got to know this man. He was president of the association that year. And he was there every step of the way to help guide the association through the transition. She learned to respect his thoughtfulness, although there were times when she thought he thought too much. She also learned to respect his judgment and his fairness in dealing with situations. He helped get NICRA on the path that it is on today.

Then one day a call came into the NICRA office from Nels Anderson. There had been an accident. A woman ran a red light and hit his car on the driver’s side. The news was not good. He was seriously injured in the accident. We all followed his progress and recovery. It was slow and painstaking but he is still with us today. Lynda remembered the day he first called her after the accident, it was months later. But his voice was unmistakable and she knew immediately that he would be alright. Lynda and his wife cried on the phone many times during this period. She was right there by his side every step of the way. I knew she was going to be OK when she made a business decision and he told her to slow down and discuss it with him. She said, I’m in charge now. That year he was not able to join us for the convention so we had a phone hook up during the awards banquet so he could talk to everyone.

Recently he has been instrumental in working as chairman of the ice cream clinic committee. Under his guidance the committee established a mission statement and testing procedures to help insure accurate results for samples. All samples for the clinic and best flavor contests are now tested.

He is married to his lovely wife and partner Debbie and they have two children, Brittany and Brent. Brittany just graduated from Niagara College with an early childhood education degree. She is student teaching and helps to decorate cakes at the dairy bar. Brent is still in school, Mohawk College in Hamilton, studying computer technology and making ice cream at the dairy bar.

In addition to Avondale Dairy Bar, he manages Anderson’s ice cream plant. He also finds time to teach at the Successful Ice Cream Retailing Course. Congratulations, Ray Sheehan.

Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, Texas Wins Promotion of the Year Award
The 20th Annual Promotion of the Year Award was presented to Henry Gentry, Jr., Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, Texas at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association 74th Annual Meeting held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in San Antonio, Texas, November 7-10, 2007.

A total of three Association members submitted entries for consideration of the award. The other two members were Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Williamsville, N.Y. and Gifford’s Ice Cream, Skowhegan, Maine. Summaries of all of the promotions were printed in the November/December 2007 issue of The National Dipper Magazine.

Henry Gentry, Jr. owns Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream in Plano, Texas. He receives between two and three requests every day for free coupons, door prizes, gift certificates or silent auction items. He gladly contributes to all of the clubs, churches and organizations, but it is really time consuming. And this year there was a great demand for custom coupons. So he thought of a way to cut down on his time, so he could stay focused on his business.

His objective was gladly to continue couponing, but transfer the work load from him to the coupon requester. It is the old adage, “Help Me, Help You”. He encouraged the coupon requester to design their own coupons, with my guidelines. In essence the coupon requester is now performing all the work and supplying all the materials, paper, printer, ink and the coupon cutting, and saving him time. No more early morning office supply store trips for him!

Here are the guidelines Henry gives to coupon requesters:
1. A purchase has to be involved, like buy one scoop and get one scoop free.
2. Henry had to sign the master copy of the coupon before it was reproduced.
3. The coupon had to include his address, web site, etc.

The advantages are that it saves him time; it gets the coupon requester involved; it promotes creativity; and the coupon is custom made for the event.

Disadvantages, Henry has found none to date. He said that even if someone makes 365 copies of the coupon for themselves, and uses one every day this year, this is not a disadvantage. Remember that they have to make a purchase. Although they think they are receiving a free scoop everyday, they have actually been trained to visit his location with their coupon everyday. The cost of an ice cream cone is about 40 cents. They pay $3 for two cones instead of one cone. His gross profit went from zero, at no purchase, to $2.20 with their coupon. He did not lose 40 cents; he actually gained $2.20. A purchase was created and they did all the work.

Henry said it is hard to measure an actual sales increase, but he can feel an increase in sales. Overall, one point is for sure, he is spending zero time designing coupons and making copies on his computer. He has mini-helpers out there, and he says thanks to the Plano Mothers!

The Promotion of the Year Award is presented annually and sponsored by Lynda Utterback, Publisher of The National Dipper Magazine.