If I Go, the Ice Cream Goes With Me

If I Go, the Ice Cream Goes With Me

With the ring of the cash register, our relationship shifted.

The transaction had started, as it always does, with the struggle of getting the attention of someone behind the counter. That is hard enough to get a server’s attention at a joint Dunkin Donuts-Baskin Robbins at any time of day. It’s twice as hard before 9am. At that time of day the staff’s focus wavers only between the growing line and the rapidly depleting coffee pot. But my sister and I are tactical in our pursuit of ice cream, especially when Baskin Robbins – known for offering 31 flavors – is offering a scoop for $1.31 in honor of the 31st day of the month. We split up for a two-pronged attack; she stood in line while I attempted to wave down an employee behind the counter. She got to them first, I joined her, and we ordered our early-morning ice cream.

The cashier, confused but polite, rang up us. “$4.73,” she said.

“No,” I shook my head in confusion, “it’s not.”

“It’s the 31st of the month,” my sister explained. “The scoops are $1.31 each.”

“No, they are not,” the cashier informed us.

She stared at us. For a moment, we stared at her. Then, I glanced down at the ice cream cones we held and knew that in this stand-off we were guaranteed to win. “Don’t worry,” I assured my sister as the clerk kept her eyes on us as the manager warily approached.

On one side of the counter was the cashier and her manager.

On the other side was me, my sister, two ice cream cones, and a coupon:

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“We already have the ice cream,” I pointed out to my sister, “and they can’t get it back. As far as they know we could walk out without paying a cent.”

We wouldn’t, but our adversaries didn’t know that.

They looked at our coupon in surprise, looked at the ice cream we were holding on the other side of the counter, and – without looking at us – reentered our order into the cash register.

“$1.31, each,” our cashier said as her manager walked away shaking her head with puzzlement.

We paid.

We ate.

We appreciated the customer service. Especially after my sister re-read the coupon and pointed at that not all Baskin Robbins locations were required to participate in the $1.31 scoop day. It’s not every chain store that will honor the promises of its corporate headquarters. So, thank you to

Baskin Robbins at 1342 Amsterdam Avenue

for honoring coupons,

and for knowing when you’ve been out-maneuvered.

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The Ice Ceiling

The Ice Ceiling

The clock stuck midnight and a winner was declared; “The Ice Ceiling” is officially the title of my project.

As a thank you for giving me a title, I give you the first assignment in the project:

Executive Summary

Many people feel that ice cream makes their lives worthwhile. For others, ice cream’s worth is what makes their livelihood. The population that enjoys ice cream remains stagnant, but the population of ice cream sellers has shifted in recent years. Increasingly, the people behind the counter – designing recipes, dreaming up marketing schemes, and strategizing for the future – are women. Women, across the globe, are making ice cream their business.

However, nothing comes with a cherry on top for the women of ice cream. Their growing numbers have uncovered the slimy underbelly of this delicious industry. The ice cream business, as we know it, was not made for women. Currently, worldwide, the business is organized by large corporations with vast distribution networks. Every few years, a new company – invariably lead by a man – takes its place in that established ice cream field. But women don’t want to work that way.

Women are not trying to take the ice cream world by storm, but with a gentle flurry. Rather than dominate the entire market, their focus is on specific niches of the business which interest them. What unites these female entrepreneurs is a mind-set: using their individual skill set to make the world of ice cream their own. The resulting businesses are as varied as an ice cream shop’s display case – socially-driven companies, custom-flavored pints, and local establishments. But they are united by a belief that utilizing their natural skills and interests elevate their ice cream game. These new ice cream queens – running subscription services, non-profit shops, and truck stands – share one element: their businesses appeal to both the owner and their self-selecting audience. Because these women know their ice cream, and know you do too.

Ice Cream: Name is the Game

Ice Cream: Name is the Game

Help is at hand. From you. I’ve been presented with a challenge and I need your assistance to succeed.

It started with my teacher. He is pretty smart, but he made one mistake. Though it’s his first time teaching, he’s managed to keep everyone engaged and productive from 8:15pm – 10:15pm, twice a week, for a month. That takes a force of will, sharp wits, and a drive to educate. He needs all of those to make it through a class, and the effort has worn him down so that he forgot one key ingredient to success – foresight.

Our teacher assumed that because we’re in a business communications course that we would want to focus on business issues – finance, marketing, account, or maybe management. So, he told us that for our final project we could deviate from the assigned topic – business issues in 2016 – and instead work on whatever topic we wanted. His instructions fell on hungry ears. Rather, I strained to hear his directions over the rumbling of my stomach. It’s no coincidence that my topic came to without any thought.

Ice cream.

I’ve written out my essay, cited my sources, and I’m nearly ready to lecture the class about it. But I have yet to choose a title. The story, as it has come together is about ice cream, women, and the challenges they face in business. From Rwanda to Milwaukee, women are selling ice cream in new and novel ways. And my classmates will be hearing all about it. To capture their attention – and an A – I need a title that hooks them from the get-go. Thankfully you’re here to provide it.