2014 Convention Review

Mar 19, 2015

NICRA 2014 Convention Review

New Officers and Board of Directors Elected

The National Ice Cream Retailers Association elected new Officers and Board Members at its 82nd Annual Convention held November 3-5, 2015 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Elected as president of the association was Jim Oden, Debbie’s Soft Serve, Smithsburg, Maryland. Neil McWilliams, Spring Dipper, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas was elected as president elect. Jill Curran, Kimball Farm, Westford, Massachusetts was elected vice president. David Deadman, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, Wisconsin was elected Secretarty/Treasurer. Carl Chaney, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, Kentucky becomes immediate past president.

Elected to the board of directors for three-year terms were: Cliff Freund, Cliff’s Dairy Maid, Blairstown, New Jersey, Vince Giordano, Sno Top, Ltd., Manlius, New York, Bob Hearn, Hearn’s Ice Cream, St. Marys, Ontario, Canada and Juergen Kloo, Joy Cone Co., Hermitage, Pennsylvania Terms will expire with the November 2017 Annual Meeting.

Supplier Officers Elected

The National Ice Cream Retailers Suppliers Association elected new Officers at its 82nd Annual Meeting held November 3-5 2015 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Elected as president of the association was Lisa Gallagher, ConAgra Foods, Downers Grove, Illinois. George Dunlap, C. Nelson Mfg. Co., Inc. Oak Harbor, Ohio was elected as vice president and elected as secretary/treasurer was Cherish Matthews, Forbes Chocolate, Broadview Heights, Ohio. Hank Sweeney, Classic Mix Partners, Neenah, Wisconsin 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, prior to the Annual Convention, to be analyzed and compared to ice cream standards. This year Dr. Tonya Schoenfuss, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota analyzed samples of vanilla and strawberry ice cream submitted by members of the association. A total of 21 vanilla samples, 15 chocolate and 12 dark 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 81st Annual Convention, held November 11-13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.


Blue Ribbons:
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co., Madison, WI  (Old Fashioned Vanilla)
Izzy’s Ice Cream, Minneapolis, MN
Shain’s of Maine, Sanford, ME
Sno Top Ltd., Manlius, NY  (Vanilla Ice Cream 10% Special)
YoYo Donuts * Coffee * Ice Cream, Minnetonka, MN


Red Ribbons:
Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, KY
Cliff’s Ice Cream, Ledgewood, NJ
The Colonel’s Creamery, Florence, KY (Signature Vanilla)
The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, FL  (Vanilla & Vanilla Bean)
Karen’s Kreamery, Avondale, AZ
King Cone, LLC, Plover, WI
Love’s Ice Cream, Grand Rapids, MI  (Vanilla Bean)
Misty Meadow Farm Creamery, LLC, Smithsburg, MD
Spring Dipper, Mammoth Spring, AR  (Vanilla Bean)
Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, Bonita Springs, FL  (French Vanilla Bean)


White Ribbons:
Reed’s Dairy, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID
Sweet Firefly Gourmet Ice Cream, Richardson, TX (Bourbon Vanilla)


Blue Ribbons:

The Colonel’s Creamery, Florence, KY (Winners Circle Dutch Chocolate)
The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, FL  (Captain’s Chocolate)
Izzy’s Ice Cream, Minneapolis, MN
Karen’s Kreamery, Avondale, AZ
King Cone, Plover, WI
Misty Meadow Farm Creamery, LLC
Sno Top, Ltd, Manlius, NY (Chocolate 10% Special
Spring Dipper, Mammoth Spring, AR
Sweet Firefly Gourmet Ice Cream, Richardson, TX
YoYo Donuts * Coffee * Ice Cream, Minnetonka, MN


]Red Ribbons:
Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, TX
JD’s Olde Fashioned Frozen Custard, Englewood, OH  (Chocolate Frozen Custard)
Shain’s of Maine, Sanford, ME


White Ribbons:
Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, KY


Blue Ribbons:

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Madison, WI (Zanzibar Chocolate)S
King Cone, Plover, WI (Zanzee Chocolate Bar)
Love’s Ice Cream, Grand Rapids, WI (TCHO Chocolate)
Shain’s of Maine, Sanford, ME
YoYo Donuts * Coffee * Ice Cream, Minnetonka, MN (Double Dark)


Red Ribbons
The Colonel’s Creamery, Florence, KY
Cliff’s Ice Cream, Lesdgewood, NJ
The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, FL  (Midnight Chocolate)
Izzy’s Ice Cream, Minnepolis, MN  (Dark Chocolate Zin)
Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, Bonita Springs, FL

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

“Church Elderberry” Ice Cream Named Your Best New Flavor

“Church Elderberry” Ice Cream was named your best new flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting recently held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky, November 11-13, 2014. 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 Izzy’s Ice Cream, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company won the coveted First Place for its new flavor. A total of 34 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. Cliff’s Ice Cream, Ledgewood, New Jersey took second place with Peanut Butter Smores Ice Cream. Third place went to Karen’s Kreamery, Avondale, Arizona for Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream. Honorable Mentions were given to Misty Meadow Farm Creamery for Granny’s Crumbs Ice Cream; King Cone, Plover, Wisconsin for Raspberry Lemonade Ice Cream; and The Ice Cream Club, Boynton Beach, Florida for Mac Daddy Coconut Ice Cream.

Grand Master Ice Cream Maker Award Presented

The first Grand Master Ice Cream Maker Award was presented to The Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company, Madison, Wisconsin at the 81st Annual National Ice Cream Retailers Association Meeting held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky, November 11-13, 2014.

In order to qualify for the award the company had to achieve three Blue Ribbons for their ice cream within a five-year period. The Chocolate Shoppe did it in three years.

To achieve a Blue Ribbon, the company’s ice cream must be judged by a dairy professor for sensory (flavor, body and texture, melting quality, color) and bacteriology and pass strict standards set by the Association.

In 2012 the company won Blue Ribbons for Vanilla, Chocolate and Dark Chocolate (Zanzibar). In 2013 they won another Blue Ribbon for Vanilla and this year they won Blue Ribbons for Vanilla and Dark Chocolate (Zanzibar).

Second Annual Iron Scoop Contest 

The National Ice Cream Retailers Association held its second Annual Iron Scoop Contest during its 81st Annual Meeting & Trade Show held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky November 11-13, 2014.

Two teams of four members were randomly chosen to participate in the contest; each team consisted of one veteran ice cream maker and three first time attendees who may or may not have ever made ice cream.

The blue team had veteran member Pam Pitchford, JP’s Custard Cart, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rounding out the team were new members Joe Hencmann, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, Centennial, Colorado; Margaret Dietl, Ginger’s Divine Ice Cream, Los Angeles, California; and Steve Cummings, Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, Bonita Springs, Florida.

The veteran member of the red team was David Ford, Weber’s Premium Ice Cream. First time members included June Weiner, Berry Bon Bon, Ashland, Massachusetts; Frank O’Brien, Daddy O’s Irish Ice Cream, Duluth, Georgia; and Brayden Hughes, Java Cow, Park City, Utah.

Teams were given the rules by master of ceremony, Henry Gentry, Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Plano, TX.

Iron Scoop Contest rules:

  1. Proper sanitation must be adhered to.
  2. Making noise and having fun is permitted and encouraged!
  3. Must name your entry!
  4. Each team must anoint a “captain” to be the spokesperson for that team.
  5. Ice cream will be judged on creativity, taste and perceived “sellability.” Maximum value of 5 points for each of these areas to be awarded per flavor. Bonus points will be awarded to most creative use of secret ingredient and will be used as the tie breaker if necessary.
  6. A minimum of 3 ingredients (including flavors) must be used plus the secret ingredient.
  7. The secret ingredient must be used in the ice cream!
  8. Decision of the judges will be final and announced at the Awards Dinner.
  9. Both entries will be available for tasting at the Ice Cream Clinic Vanilla and Chocolate tasting tables.
  10. Winning team members and the flavor name will be inscribed on the Iron Scoop Trophy, memorialized forever in NICRA history.

Teams then decided on what ingredients they wanted to use and Henry announced the secret ingredient that must be used in the ice cream – Ginger Snaps. But wait, there was another secret ingredient this year: Kentucky Bourbon. Teams huddled together to formulate their flavor and then began pouring ingredients into the batch freezers, one from Taylor Company, Rockford, Illinois and one from Stoelting Foodservice, Kiel, Wisconsin. After the required time in the batch freezers, teams began to extrude their ice cream, adding mix-ins and ribbons, including the Ginger Snap pieces. Both team used a full half pint of Kentucky Bourbon in the ice cream.

Teams also had to name their flavors. The red team flavor was Old Kentucky Home Chip and the blue team flavor was Kentucky Ginger Bourbon Indulgence. Members of the Ice Cream Clinic Committee were the judges. The winner, the red team, with Old Kentucky Home Chip was announced at the awards banquet and the flavor name and team members will have their names inscribed on the Iron Scoop Trophy. The score is now Blue Team 1 – Red Team 1.

Eleven Students Win Bryce Thompson Scholarship Awards

During the NICRA Annual Meeting recently held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky, it was announced that eleven employees of member stores will each be receiving a scholarship award. The winners and amounts of the award are:

$3,500            Diana Haddad, Sno Top, Ltd., Manilus, NY
$2,500            Scott Robb, Colonial Café, St. Charles, IL
$2,500            Sydney Brennan, Dariee Delite, Brantford, ON, Canada
$2,000            Heather Huffman, Dairy Corner, Urbana, OH
$1,500            Alyssa Friesser, Plush Horse, Palos Park, IL
$1,000            Louis Marcho, Mill City Dairy, Dalton, PA
$1,000            Trinh Nguyen, Franklin Fountain, Philadelphia, PA
$1,000            Samantha O’Connor, Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Williamsville, NY
$1,000            Nicholas Cannon, Leopold’s Ice Cream, Savannah, GA
$1,000            Katrina Eicholtz, Sarah’s Creamery, Dover, PA
$1,000            Taylor Kelly, Colonial Café, St. Charles, IL

This year, during the silent and live auctions at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky $11,500 was raised for the Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund. The Board of Directors of NICRA approved another $4,000 contribution, for a total of $15,500. Kelle Messer, Eskamoe’s Frozen Custard, Monroe, Louisiana, who coordinated both the silent and live auctions, did an outstanding job and the association is grateful to her. The association would also like to thank the team of volunteers who helped coordinate everything, as well as Vince Giordano who was the auctioneer. Thanks also to everyone who donated an article for the auctions and also everyone who attended the convention and were so generous with their donations. The ice cream cone hat went to Ben Klosinski, King Cone, Plover, Wisconsin.

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.

Three NICRA Members Win Promotion of the Year Award

 The 26th Annual Promotion of the Year Award was presented to three NICRA Members at the 81st Annual NICRA Meeting and Convention which was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky on November 11-13, 2014: Carmen’s Italian Ice, Rockville, Maryland; Kathy and Mick Simmons, Grandpa’s Homemade Ice Cream, Fridley, Minnesota; and Griselda Wilson, Scoops!, Bishopville, South Carolina. Summaries of all three promotions follow.

Carmen’s Italian Ice
Jayden Day is considered the best day of the month to many in the community.

On the 8th of every month, we celebrate my son’s birthday, December 8, 2005. It’s Jayden Day. Every single customer gets to celebrate Jayden’s Birthday every single Month. On the 8th of the month, we offer half off our Italian Ices and Gelatis.

It all started when my son was first born, and my wife and I were both working while he attended day care. Everyone wanted to meet Jayden. So, we decided there would be one day a month he would always be there. And why not give everyone a little incentive to stop by and say hi. So, we literally would sit him on a table in a bouncy seat for him to be viewed by all.

So now, eight years later, he acts like he owns the place. He is in and out of the shop all the time, but Jayden Day still remains our busiest day by far. It is a day that is marked on may calendars, all over Facebook and Twitter, as well as reminders on phones and computers all over the community. Everyone loves Jayden Day and loves to tell friends and family about the best day ever.

Jayden is considered a local celebrity within the community.

From a business perspective, in 2013 and 2014, it was ort highest volume day of the month, as well as at least doubling the number of transactions in one day.

Jayden Day is always fun and always a great reminder of how awesome it is to be a small business owner.

Grandpa’s Homemade Ice Cream
 Our promotion was entitled Back to School Blast/ Ice Cream Easting Contest. Our shop is located in a blue collar community with over half of the elementary aged children on the free or reduced lunch program.

We have been told by many of the teachers that they spend several hundred dollars of their own money to buy additional school supplies for their students. This generated the idea to collect school supplies at the shop.

The promotion for school supplies starts during July. An email is sent out to our email list and we post it on Facebook. We also ask our teacher customers what their biggest school supply needs are and the list of school supply need list is posted on Facebook/email as a convenience for our customers. We also start to watch newspaper ads and let customers know where the best sales are on school supplies.

Decisions need to be made: What will prizes be? What is the date for the drawing?

It is promoted with signage at the shop, table tents on all tables, a poster by the school supply table and we post on Facebook and our website. We also send press releases to our local newspapers and TV stations. We have a large basket at the shop where the customers put in their school supplies. Customers that are not familiar with the program see the supplies and we have a large poster letting them know how they can participate. We promote the prizes and the date of the drawing on all promotion materials.

For every school supply that is brought in, you are given an entry slip for our drawing. The more supplies you bring in, the more slips you get for the drawing. The drawing was at 8:00 PM this year on August 23rd. The grand prize is an ice cream social catered by us for 25 people. We also have other prizes which include: free ice cream, shirts, hats and back packs.

The day of the drawing, we also have an ice cream eating contest. There is an entry fee to get into the contest. All money collected from the entry fees goes toward purchasing additional school supplies and gift cards for teachers.

We are all very busy the day of the ice cream eating contest. It is the last day to get school supplies to the shop, so some come in to deliver their school supplies, others come in to sign up for the contest, many family members and friends come to watch the contest and most are also buying ice cream products.

We generally have two staff during the day shift; however, because of the increase in business, we have four staff and both owners working.

Sales are 75% to 100% more than the day before or the day after. Pictures are taken at the ice cream eating contest and posted on Facebook and our website. When they sign up, there is a release form allowing us to use their pictures on the website.

Customers love that they are contributing to helping teachers and students and especially love the opportunity to win free ice cream.

Another photo opportunity is when we deliver the school supplies to the school. We ask if we can have a picture with the Principal and staff receiving the supplies. We post the picture on Facebook and website and then send out press releases again to local newspapers and TV stations.

“We opened our doors on June 16, 2014, yes 2014. We have only been opened three months and we have been doing fabulous. At least I think we are.

I started with seven employees and ended up hiring two additional college students for six weeks of the summer. So, right now I have a staff of seven employees and four of them are high school students.

My high school students (like most children, love money and are extremely competitive) so I decided to have a competition among my staff to increase business even more.

They were all given 200 – 10% coupons and were instructed to utilize their own marketing tactics, skills, personality and voices of persuasion to get new customers in to visit the store and make a purchase. At the end of the contest, the winner will receive $300, second place $200 and third place $100.

The rules:

  • On month to do this (September)
  • Cannot just hand out coupons or place on cars, windows or doors, they must talk to people and make Scoops! appealing and enticing
  • Or they must simply sell/market themselves to convince the customer to come to Scoops!
  • Coupons must be given to non regular customers and preferably persons who have never been to Scoops!
  • Coupons cannot be given to customers that are already in the store nor can they be given out at Scoops! while an employee is on or off the clock
  • Each coupon has the employee’s name on it
  • A few other rules; but here is the kicker: the competition does not even become effective until 100 new customers come in per employee. For example, if at the end of the competition, employee one gets 88 new people to come in and use the coupons and employee 2 has 122 new people to come in, does employee 1 receive $200 (second place)? No, they must bring in at least 100 people.

So far this has been a lot of fun for the kids and adults and all of them are using so many variations of creativity. Visiting parents’ jobs; their church, library, their teachers, doctor’s offices, walking their neighborhoods, etc.

They have until the end of September and so far all of them have increased business on an average of 22 per employee. I would have to say that’s pretty amazing for half of the month. Some have more, but all seven have at least 22. As the summer winds down and the business is doing better than I expected, having more new customers coming in is super fantastic.

Although I have implemented many successful promotional ideas this summer, this one is my favorite because the staff is competitively driven. So, that’s the best promotion I’ve used that I see as doing great and the best promotion of the year for a new business.

Juergen Kloo, Joy Cone Company Names Forrest Mock Person of the Year

Juergen Kloo, Joy Cone Company, Hermitage, Pennsylvania was awarded the National Ice Cream Retailers Association’s Forrest Mock Person of the Year Award. The award is sponsored by The National Dipper and Lynda Utterback, publisher of the magazine presented the award at the 81st Annual National Ice Cream Retailers Association in Lexington, Kentucky this past November.

Juergen has been involved in NICRA since 1997, on the Board of Directors for ten years and a past president of the Suppliers organization. He served on several committees throughout the years. He is pragmatic, never mincing words, always telling it like it is.

He grew up in the Fairfax, Virginia area and started playing soccer at an early age.  He was the starting goalie for the Red Wings, which won the high school National Championship. His success in soccer landed him an athletic scholarship at William & Mary, where he graduated in 1983 with a degree in business.  More importantly, William & Mary is where he met his wife. They have been married over 30 years!

In 1984, he started working for Fort Howard/Sweetheart, where he cut his teeth learning how to sell towels, tissues, cups, and cones. In his 6 years at Fort Howard, he had 5 different titles, having success at each position and moving up the company ladder.

In 1990, he was contacted by a headhunter and ended up leaving Fort Howard for Nyman. At Nyman, he was the regional manager, selling paper and plastic cups. It was while he was with Nyman that he started to learn about Joy Cone Co. At a trade show, he was stationed across from the Joy Cone booth. He went over to talk to the rep and discussed his days selling the Sweetheart Eat It All brand. Shortly after that, he was asked by Joy Cone to present some plastic lid options for their edible sundae cup.  The dialogue between him and Joy’s CEO Joe George eventually led to a job offer for him to become Joy’s Director of Food Service Sales.

He jokes that when he joined Joy, he figured he would be with the company about 5 or 6 years and then move on, as he had at some of the other companies he worked for.  He now has over 22 years at Joy Cone, having started there in 1992.  In his time at the company, the food service sales have increased more than 5 times.  The company’s strength has always been at the store or “street” level, working closely with distributor sales reps and ice cream shop owners.  He is very comfortable in that area, but he also excels at the headquarter level.  He leads a team of 4 direct sales reps and a broker, plus in-house staff taking care of customers.

He and his wife Julie live in the Pittsburgh area. They have two sons, Jay and Ian. Congratulations Juergen.