2008 Convention Review

Jun 18, 2014

View 2008 Convention Schedule

New Officers and Board of Directors Elected

The National Ice Cream Retailers Association elected new officers and board members at the 75th Annual Convention held November 12-15, 2008 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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

Elected to the board of directors for three year terms were: Terry Michels, Queen City Creamery & Deli, LLC, Cumberland, Maryland; Rod Oringer, Concord Foods, Oringer div., Brockton, Mass.; Rick Pizzi, Pizzi Farm Ice Cream, Waltham, Mass.; and David Zimmermann, Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, Bonita Springs, Florida. Terms will expire with the November 2011 Annual Meeting.

Supplier Officers

The National Ice Cream Retailers Suppliers Association officers are elected for two year terms. Officers were elected last year as follows:

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. Ron Schmidt, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida analyzed samples of vanilla and chocolate ice cream submitted by members of the association. A total of 25 vanilla samples and 20 chocolate samples were submitted.

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 75th Annual Convention, held November 12-15, 2008 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Vanilla Ice Cream: Blue Ribbons
Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Township, MI (Vanilla Bean)
Queen City Creamery & Deli, LLC, Cumberland, MD (Vanilla Frozen Custard)

Vanilla Ice Cream: Red Ribbons
Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Townwhip, MI (Vanilla & French Vanilla)
Capannari’s Ice Cream, Mt. Prospect, IL
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, WI (Old Fashioned Vanilla)
Dolce Gourmet Gelateria & Café, Erie, PA (Vanilla Gelato)
Gifford’s Ice Cream, Skowhegan, ME
Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, TX
Lakeside Creamery, Oakland, MD
Maggie Moo’s, Norcross, GA (Vanilla Bean)
Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, LLC, Chilton, WI
Sno Top, Ltd., Manlius, NY (Vanilla Soft Serve)
Valley Dairy, Latrobe, PA
Woodside Farm Creamery, Hockessin, DE

Vanilla Ice Cream: White Ribbons
Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Buffalo, NY
Avondale Dairy Bar, Niagara on the Lake, ON, Canada (Vanilla & French Vanilla)
Cliff’s Dairy Maid, Ledgewood, NJ
Corn Hill Creamery, Rochester, NY (Vanilla Bean & Tahitian French Vanilla)
Maggie Moo’s, Norcross, GA
Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery, Kittanning, PA (Vanilla Gelato)
Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, St. Louis, MO

Chocolate Ice Cream: Blue Ribbons
Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Buffalo, NY (Dark Chocolate)
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, WI
Gifford’s Dairy Inc., Skowhegan, ME
Maggie Moo’s, Norcross, GA (Chocolate & Dark Chocolate)

Chocolate Ice Cream: Red Ribbons
Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Williamsville, NY
Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Township, MI
Capannari’s Ice Cream, Mt. Prospect, IL
Cliff’s Dairy Maid, Ledgewood, NJ
Corn Hill Creamery, Rochester, NY
Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, TX
Marble Slab Creamery, Norcross, GA (Chocolate Swiss)
Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery, Kittanning, PA (Chocolate & Dark Chocolate Gelato)
Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, LLC, Chilton, WI
Serrendipity Homemade Ice Cream, St. Louis, MO (Old Fashioned Chocolate)
Sno Top, Ltd., Manlius, NY (Chocolate Soft Serve)

Chocolate Ice Cream: White Ribbons
Avondale Dairy Bar, Niagara on the Lake, ON, Canada
Dolce Gourmet Gelateria & Café, Erie, PA (Chocolate Gelato)
Valley Dairy, Latrobe, PA

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

“Bananas Foster” Frozen Custard Named Your Best New Flavor

“Bananas Foster” Frozen Custard was named your best new flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Hilton Bayfront, St. Petersburg, Florida, November 12-15, 2008. 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 Queen City Creamery & Deli, LLC, Cumberland, Maryland. 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. Dolce Gourmet Gelateria & Café, Erie, Penn. won second place for Key Lime Dream Gelato. Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Twp., Mich. took third place for Kettle Crunch Ice Cream.
Honorable Mentions were given to Corn Hill Creamery, Rochester, N.Y. for Pumpkin with Sweet Pecan Crunch Ice Cream; and The Double Dip, Lebanon, Ohio for Concord Grape Gelato.

“Blow Pop” Ice Cream Named Best Candy Flavor

“Blow Pop” Ice Cream was named the best candy flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, St. Petersburg, Florida, November 12-15, 2008. 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 Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, St. Louis, Missouri. The company won the coveted First Place for its flavor. A total of 21 new candy 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. The Double Dip, Lebanon, Ohio took second place for Raspberry Cocoa Crunch Ice Cream and third place went to Queen City Creamery & Deli, LLC, Cumberland, Maryland for Milky Way Frozen Custard. Honorable Mentions went to Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, Shelby Twp., Michigan for Magic Cookie Ice Cream; and Woodside Farm Creamery, Hockessin, Delaware for Rocky Peppermint Road Ice Cream.

Ten Students Win Bryce Thomson Scholarship Awards

During the Bryce Thomson Silent and Live Auctions recently held during the annual meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, it was announced that ten employees of member stores will each be receiving a scholarship award.

The winners and amounts of the award are:
Kinzie Reichman, Blue Ridge Ice Creams, Winston-Salem, NC ($3,500)
Ashley Gullage, Moo’s Ice Cream, Derry, NH ($2,500)
Julia Merrill, Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Williamsville, NY ($2,500)
Donna Allen, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, KY ($2,000)
Lauren Arnold, Page Dairy Mart, Pittsburgh, PA ($1,500)
Carly Zuban, Page Dairy Mart, Pittsburgh, PA ($1,000)
Samantha Melendez, Handel’s Ice Cream & Yogurt, Canfield, OH ($1,000)
Claire Ulrickson, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, Denver, CO ($1,000)
Anet Harris, Lakeside Creamery, Deep Creek, MD ($1,000)
Jennifer Mathias, Cherry Top Dairy Bar, Walkill, NY ($1,000)

This year, during the silent and live auctions in St. Petersburg, $14,542.00 was raised for the Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund. The suppliers also agreed to contribute $3,000 and the Board approved another $2,000 contribution. Laurie Oringer, 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.

Nearly 30 people contributed $150 each for the coveted “ice cream cone hat”. Total contributions amounted to $4,100.

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.

Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery Wins Promotion of the Year Award

RThe 21st Annual Promotion of the Year Award was presented to Linda Mercurio, Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery, Kittanning, Penn. at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association 75th Annual Meeting held at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, St. Petersburg, Florida, November 12-15, 2008.

A total of four Association members submitted entries for consideration of the award. The other three members were Custard’s Last Stand, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, Texas and Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, St. Louis, Missouri. Summaries of all of the promotions were printed in the November/December 2008 issue of The National Dipper Magazine.

In the last few years Linda Mercurio has tried many ways to advertise Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery throughout the Pittsburgh area without the usual expensive advertising costs. She came up with an idea which she calls “The Adventures of Gianni Gelato” as a mechanism for her customers to do the advertising for her.

The first objective to fulfill was to create a mascot for Mercurio’s which symbolized who we are and what we do. Gianni is a cone-shaped figure with great green, red and white hair, the colors of the Italian flag. He is shaped like a serving of gelato on top of the cone. And he is on the go! His feet are in the running position because he’s ready to go wherever and whenever you are and Gianni is carrying a camera in his hand because he loves to get his picture taken.

We had t-shirts printed with our name, location and Gianni on the front and sell
them in our store. The promotion works like this:

We ask our customer to purchase a Gianni Gelato t-shirt for $8. With the shirt, they are given a gift certificate for a free quart of their favorite gelato, valued at $8.39, which is given as an incentive to purchase the shirt. They are asked to wear their Gianni Gelato t-shirt around the Pittsburgh area or anywhere else they’d like, (hopefully, often). While wearing the shirt, they are to take a picture of themselves and bring the picture in to be displayed. Once we receive the picture, they can redeem the gift certificate. They may choose to send a digital picture by email and a gift certificate is forwarded to them when we receive the digital picture.

They must give permission to have the pictures displayed at Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery. Additionally, on a wall at the creamery, we hung four maps, one each of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the United States and the world. When we receive a picture, we pinpoint on the maps where the picture was taken, thus where Gianni’s adventures have taken him, or more importantly, where Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery has been advertised.

There was an overwhelming response from our customers who wanted the shirts to wear while on vacation. “Oh, I’m going to send one to my son in Colorado,” or “I’m going to Ireland for vacation”, were some of the expressions I heard from customers, and the pictures have been great. We have Ann who took hers while on an Alaskan Cruise or Siobhan who sent us pictures of herself from St. Petersburg, Russia.

While I was really excited about their enthusiasm. I wanted the shirts to be worn around the Pittsburgh area to advertise Mercurio’s, so I decided to begin an adventure program for Gianni and our customers. I spoke with some of the wholesale accounts that we have and asked if they’d be willing to give a free cup of coffee or appetizer for a first beer free if someone came in with a Gianni shirt on. My wholesale customers loved the exposure and free advertising for them through my email list and are happy to accommodate anyone who comes in with a Gianni shirt on. One of our accounts is the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and offers up to four $1 off entrance fees for anyone who wears Gianni. So this whole adventure grew from just being a mechanism for some free advertising for me, to being a great way to support and do some advertising for my wholesale accounts as well. Also, as an incentive to wear their shirts often, our customers are told that several Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery team members carry “free cone” cards to hand out if they see someone wearing a Gianni Gelato shirt around the Pittsburgh area.

Additionally I was able to tap into cross promoting with retailers in my neighborhood that were not in the food industry. We have retailers who give away percentages off of merchandise from their stores, or give away free samples to customers who come in wearing the Gianni Gelato shirt. This fall, Gianni will be participating in a bar crawl that our local bar and restaurant association is planning.

While I’ve been thinking about this promotion and how to get the most for Mercurio’s from it over a year now, I only introduced it to my customers in July. The Adventures of Gianna Gelato has been very well received and thus far, we have sold nearly 300 shirts. I have had an increase in sales this summer over last, but determining the exact percentage of increase because of the Gianni Gelato promotion isn’t possible. I consider my costs for the quarts we give away are a one time, minimal cost. I believe the intangibles here are priceless, especially the fact that I have at least 300 walking advertisements on the streets of Pittsburgh. Honestly, this promotion is for the long term and was started for advertising, but what we’ve gained for Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery through customer excitement, wholesale customer and other retail business participation and the pride and fun it has generated from our own sales force has made the entire promotion a true success!