The Critical 'I'

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Friday, December 26, 2003

CUSTOM ICE CREAM
I may have found a solution for the discontinuation of Ben & Jerry's Festivus ice cream. Custom Ice Cream Creations by Reinhold Ice Cream Company will mix up just about any flavor of ice cream and ship it out to you. They've had a good deal of success with this service:

"This woman from Miami said she would be interested in a strawberry basil and also a sunflower flavor," said [Bill] Mandell. Though he said such flavor sensations aren't necessarily his taste, "this is about the customer, so there it is."...

Feeling the squeeze as larger companies swallow up or merge with competitors, the third generation ice cream maker is seeking a niche audience outside the delivery range of its 19 trucks.

"The bigger regionals are buying up smaller dairies to extend their product lines," Mandell said. "To be a small dairy and ice cream manufacturer, you have to be specialized."

Pittsburgh-based Reinhold is currently sold in Ohio, West Virginia and the western half of Pennsylvania.

There is one hitch, though:

Customers must order at least three and a half gallons of ice cream, about 70 servings. The cost, with shipping via FedEx, is about $80.

A bit steep for some ice cream! And that's assuming they can get the right Festivus blend of cinnamon and brown sugar ice cream, laced with gingerbread cookie bits. Plus, it's already after Christmas, so 'tain't the season. Maybe next year. Even better, I can post an offer on Craig's List to see if anyone shares my taste and would like to split the order.