National Ice Cream Retailers Association – Steve Christensen, Executive Director
Just last week, I caught up with my good friend Steve Christensen and we talked about the retail ice cream industry. He talked about his life journey and business experiences that have helped him prepare for his new job as the ( August 2018) Executive Director of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA). Steve talks about the history and people that have made NICRA a wonderful group to be part of.
Steve and I talked about how NICRA is the best resource for new operators just getting started in our industry. Where else can you sit down with a Carl Chaney of Chaney’s Dairy Barn or David Deadman of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream and talk about how to get started in the ice cream industry. As Steve said, Carl and David are just 2 examples of the wonderfully successful operators in NICRA that are available to help new shop owners.
I had the pleasure to meet Debra & Carl Chaney, the summer of 2003, before they opened their shop, I had the pleasure to work with the Chaney’s on their recipes and flavorings for their great tasting homemade ice creams.
This is the story as told by Carl Chaney, “if you are welling to get up early and stay up late you too can enjoy the fruits of your hard work”.
This is a story about an American dream by a hard working family from Bowling Green, KY.
A conversation with Jake Klein, Lead Project Manager, Taylor Freezer of Michigan. I caught up with Jake at the 2017 GLICFFA Convention in Lansing, MI on February 4th I was working the Taylor Freezer of MI booth helping with their customers and sales reps. He talks about his roll at the ice cream & food specialty sales company in Michigan. Jake handles the social media, web design, and related internet and marketing areas at the distributorship. He talks about how he is updating the sales reps awareness a of social media tools and how they can continue to grow their sales as well as serve existing customers. Jake tells me how he brings together the internet marketing support programs fromTaylor Company and ties it in with his companies sales and service needs. He is working hard to blend the best of the past with the tools of the future. Enjoy and I trust you will find it of value.
From the show floor, at the Mid-America Restaurant Expo, I had a chance to talk with a good friend of mine Mike Rodemann, Vice President of Operations, The Hillson Nut Company, Cleveland, OH. The Hillson Nut Company was an exhibitor at the the Mid-America trade show. The trade show was designed around the Pizza, Ice Cream, Food Truck, Casual and Fine dinning businesses. Mike and I talked about making special nut recipes for ice cream shops and how nuts really do enhance the flavor of ice cream. Mike also told me that ice cream owners should be aware of the current….. bubble in the pecan market.
Stay tuned for a great conversation with Mike Rodemann about how nuts…… make good ice creams….. taste great!
I had a chance to catch up with a very busy traveler and ice cream trainer this week, Steve Christensen, The Headmaster @ Scoopschool.com located in St. Louis, MO. I have known Steve since the mid-2000’s and have enjoyed his passion for helping all those in the ice cream retail shop business. I caught up with Steve as he was preparing for his class at the Mid-America Ice Cream & Restaurant Expo in Columbus, OH.
Steve Christensen – The Headmaster @ scoopschool.com
I first meet with Kurt Dehner, owner ofSisters Sweet Shoppe , Dublin, Ohio, USA, on April 15, 2015. I was introduced by my good friend Matt Wilicoxin with Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, Columbus, OH. I had the pleasure to work with Kurt on the design & layout of his new shoppe. See below how Kurt and the team went from a rough design to a finished beautiful store layout.
Step 1, New Store Design – Rough Draft Store Design Concept
Step 2, Once Kurt agreed on the rough concept we moved to the next rough design.
Rough Design Option #1
Step 3, Option #2 (below) was chosen and it was sent to the building engineer for detailed drawings for local community code approvals. Electrical, water, sewer, lighting, and construction needs were detailed at this point. At this point I become the building consultant for my customer.
Rough Design Option #2
Pictures of store layout & equipment
C Nelson, Model 16diphv, Gelato/Low Glass Style dipping cabinet, 16 flavors to dip cones and more from.
C Nelson, Model BD8JR, Flavor Rail Freezer, Milk Shake Prep Freezer Cabinet
Vitamix Heavy Duty shake blenders, The Quiet One
Take a few minutes and listen to Kurt tell his story of buying an existing business, designing a new shop, moving into the new shop, and how he competes with some pretty big competitors in his neighborhood.
Billy and I had a few minutes, before the trade show started, to talk. Billy was setting up his booth displaying the NOWATERBATH thermal pads and I was setting up my ice cream cart from C. Nelson, Billy showed me his water saving and time saving, no mess – no rusty containers to clean, thermal heat pads.
Billy Marchal, owns and operates his own shop, Bluffton Dairy Freeze, he specks from experience.
Billy Marchal’s Bluffton Dairy Freeze
Take a few minutes and listen to our conversation about this great product. Check out his website for a list of satisfied customers. Billy told me to call any or all of them for references.
I trust you enjoyed listening to Billy as much as i enjoyed learning about this really great new product. If I can help you, please, call me anytime. George Dunlap 614-378-8466
I have had the pleasure to work with Matt and his family since i moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1982. (My audio starts a little rough, but kicks in after a few seconds.)
Matt Wilcoxon, 4th generation ice cream maker, from Columbus, OH, USA, talks about his families ice cream plant and how his dairy stays clean and how you can do the same; no matter how small your ice cream business is.
The Wilcoxon family has been a great customer of C. Nelson mobile and in-store cabinets for many years. C. Nelson Mfg., Co, is a proud partner in the listeria clean program at Johnson’s diary and retail shop.