What do successful frozen dessert retailers say about their membership
in the National Ice Cream Retailers Association? Watch our new
video and read
our members' testimonials below.
NICRA a Good Investment?
Watch our new video filmed at the
NICRA convention to see what NICRA members have to say.
Without a doubt NICRA has been the single most important investment for our ice cream shop. Before we opened we had access to those in the know. We found at each convention we went to that the suppliers and fellow members were open and honest with the information they provided us. We learned everything from store layout to writing an employee handbook and everything in between. Our shop opened for the first time on March 9th, 2007 — this was a stressful time but much more manageable because of our many friends and "support team" from NICRA.
Jim and Lorna Ross
Flat Pennies Ice Cream
Bay City, Wisconsin
NICRA has been an essential tool to help build our business. We have built an incredible network of like-minded business partners who we have been able to turn to for advice. We have also established great friendships throughout the country with other ice cream aficionados!
Katie Dolan Dix
Capannari Ice Cream
Mount Prospect, Illinois
NICRA has been instrumental in growing my wholesale business. Several of my clients found me by calling NICRA to see who in their area made ice cream for wholesale. I am very grateful for the exposure!
That's the scoop!
Beckie Jacobs, Owner
Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream
St. Louis, Missouri
Joining NICRA has allowed me the unique opportunity to develop working relationships with industry leaders and lasting friendships with fellow owners!
Ice Cream Cone ... $2.85
Banana Split ... $6.95
Joining NICRA ... $ PRICELESS !
The Creamery at Pizzi Farms
I attended my first NICRA convention in 1996 in Williamsburg and have not missed one since. As the Director of Sales I spend a lot of my time managing people and working with national accounts. The thing I like best about the NICRA organization and the convention is that it allows me to "get back to the streets." It gives me an opportunity to see and hear what is happening at the user level. I am able to get a sense of what is hot and what is not. I have developed many friendships over the years through the organization and the convention gives me an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
Juergen Kloo, Director of Food Service Sales
Joy Cone Company
NICRA brings together some of the best minds and most clever marketing ideas that our industry has to offer. NICRA is a valuable investment in my business!
Steven Thompson, President/CEO
Emery Thompson Batch Freezers
What a great organization with a great bunch of people!
I opened my shop in June of 2001 and joined NICRA a few months later. I was impressed with the monthly NICRA Bulletin and thought it contained good marketing ideas, a few of which, such as Bryce Thomson's Pajama Party, that I tried and found they worked great.
I attended my first Annual Conference in October, 2001 in Charleston, South Carolina and was somewhat skeptical as to what information I would receive for my registration fee. I was bowled over (no pun intended) by the wealth of good and useful information which I received. Not only were the sessions helpful, but the NICRA members were very friendly and unbelievably willing to share their ideas. I have attended many different types of trade conferences, but never have I found people with such a wealth of experience so willing and able to share their ideas.
One week after the conference, two NICRA members made a special trip to my store (they were on vacation at the time) just to say "hi" and to give me more useful ideas.
I left the annual conference with literally 30-40 new ideas, about half of which I have been able to put in play, most with fantastic results.
I cannot say enough about the organization and the people. I can't wait until the next conference!
Sandra Cagan, Owner
Simka's Sweets, Inc.
It was 1993 when I first read a copy of the NICRA Bulletin. I had been in the ice cream business almost two years and things were not working out. Serious consideration was being given to closing. I decided to attend the NICRA convention being held that year in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a far trip from my home in the Bahamas, but I thought maybe, just maybe, I could discover why my business was failing by learning a little more about the industry.
That was the start of a big turnaround for my business. Not because I learned everything in that one trip; and not because the members of NICRA know everything.
The communication, networking and friendships which have formed through NICRA over the years are in itself a rewarding experience, and are invaluable, teaching you much more than any school or university could ever do. Owners, CEOs, managers and front line employees all come together at convention time to share great ideas through years and years of experience.
In short, joining NICRA turned out to be one of the best business decisions I have made. This could be the same for you, especially if you're new in the business.
Llewellyn Burrows, Owner
Lickety Split, Ltd.
I have been associated with NICRA for several years. In that time I have had great success at meeting new customers, developing and building a strong business network in the organization. These are valuable tools that have helped us grow our brands of toppings and variegates in our target market segments within the ice cream industry.
Concord Foods, Oringer div.
My husband, Rick and I, decided to open a small ice cream business for me to operate and as a learning experience for our seven children. We chose to make gelato, which is homemade ice cream made the Italian way. Little did we know that all of us would be the recipients of the some of the best educational experiences available to run our business through the NICRA conventions, bulletins, and information sharing among its members.
Rick and I studied the "how" of making ice cream at major universities and also traveled around the country taste-testing various types of ingredients. We opened our store, Mulberry Street Creamery, in the spring of 1999 and were proud to serve great gelato, but knew we had to work on other aspects of the business. We attended our first NICRA convention in Orlando at the close of that first season and were treated to seminars in subjects that were useful and pertinent to the ice cream business. Selling ice cream by weight, cake decorating, wholesaling were some of the seminars that attracted us and ideas learned then continue to be a part of what Mulberry Street Creamery is today. Those were some of the scheduled seminars, but more importantly, the networking and idea sharing by the members is invaluable. At the Orlando convention, we even met two gentlemen who owned a gelateria in Milan, Italy who taught us the proper way to "dress" and scoop gelato! That fifteen-minute conversation changed the entire look of our display, which continues to draw oohs and aahs from customers to this day.
Attending the NICRA seminar on wholesaling and listening to the panel discuss their experiences and successes regarding this aspect of the business gave us the confidence to try it too. Even though we tried to keep it somewhat contained, wholesaling our gelato has become 40% of our business in a little over one year and continues to grow daily.
Becoming a member of NICRA and taking advantage of everything the association has to offer will be one of the best decisions you’ll make for the growth of your business. It certainly has been for us.
Rick & Linda Mercurio
Mulberry Street Creamery
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