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The (Ice) Cream Rises...

It's summer time, and the living is easy. So our minds turn to all things summer: kite flying, picnics in the park, baseball, and ice cream. Today's New York Times offers two glimpses behind the business of ice cream — which make interesting parallel reads.

First up, R.W. Apple, Jr., takes a look at Blue Bell, a Texas-based ice cream maker that, even though it's sold in only 16 states, ranks third in total ice cream sales nationwide. That's right, this "little creamery" outsells Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's. It's secret? Snappy slogans, central control, and quality ingredients.

Secondly, I was sad to learn of the passing of James Conway, Sr., who helped launch the Mister Softee ice cream company. A multimillion business, Mister Softee — whose trucks sing the song of summer — ranks among the largest franchisers of ice cream trucks in the U.S. Conway was a graduate of Wharton.

This morning, I've got a taste for ice cream. We'll see how the day goes, but maybe I need to stop off at the Times Square Cold Stone Creamery.

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