From ice cream peddler to ice cream icon, founder Tom Carvel left his mark on the industry
ATLANTA, April 6 // PRNewswire // -- Before computers, Velcro or microwave ovens, the world had Carvel Ice Cream. Best known for premium soft serve ice cream, hand dipped products and uniquely shaped ice cream cakes, Carvel has over 500 retail ice cream shops across 25 states and in seven countries.
This Memorial Day Carvel celebrates its 75th anniversary. On that same day in 1934, Tom Carvel's ice cream truck suffered a flat tire in Hartsdale, NY. The site later became the first Carvel retail ice cream shop. While many remember the distinct voice of Tom Carvel, the first CEO to star in his own commercials, few know that same man was called the "Father of Franchising," offered the first Buy One, Get One Free coupon and held 540 other patents, trademarks and copyright registrations from mechanical and product designs to methods and technical developments of food equipment.
Carvel's patented "no air pump" created thick, creamy premium soft serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream that quickly put the brand on the map. Its popularity increased with the introduction of uniquely shaped character ice cream cakes such as Fudgie the Whale, Cookie Puss and Hug Me Bear. With a unique name and clever promotion, Tom Carvel put his signature on every menu item from Flying Saucers, whose ads featured Captain Carvel, to Old Fashioned Sundaes with the famous Wednesday is Sundae promotion.
"Tom Carvel had an unrivaled way of connecting with guests and creating lasting memories," explains Gary Bales, president of Carvel Ice Cream. "From major events like the Little Miss Half Pint competition to advanced franchisee training techniques like Carvel's College of Ice Cream Knowledge, Tom was a true innovator that was way ahead of his time."
To preserve the rich history of Carvel and 75 years of memories, stories and facts from Carvel franchisees, customers and family members, associates of the Carvel Corporation wrote a book called Images of America: Carvel Ice Cream which became available for purchase on March 30.
"The book was given as a gift to all of the franchisees who have made the brand what it is today," says Bales. "It is the hard work and enthusiasm that they bring to our guests everyday that make this brand special and unique."
To celebrate 75 years of serving famed desserts, Carvel will be hosting a new product giveaway. On April 30 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at all participating Carvel locations, the company is offering guests a free Iceberg(TM), Carvel's newest blended treat; no strings attached.
Throughout the year, Carvel will proudly display the 75th anniversary logo on cups, napkins and on the Web site to honor the accomplishments of 75 years and salute the next 75.
The United States' first retail ice cream franchise, Carvel Ice Cream has become one of the best-loved and most recognized names in its industry. The company is a leading provider of premium soft serve and hand dipped ice cream products, as well as the leading manufacturer of uniquely shaped ice cream cakes, including its signature Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss cakes. Carvel currently operates over 500 franchised and food service locations, and sells its famous ice cream cakes in over 10,000 supermarket outlets. The company is based in Atlanta, with its supermarket headquarters in New Britain, Conn.
FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of over 2,200 ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and numerous foreign countries under the brand names Carvel(R) Ice Cream, Cinnabon(R), Schlotzsky's(R), Moe's Southwest Grill(R), and the franchisor of Seattle's Best Coffee(R) on military bases and in certain international markets. Based in Atlanta, the primary objective of FOCUS Brands is to "FOCUS on making people happy."