Ice Cream Truck Wars

June 5, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Ice cream trucks are battling it out on the streets of New York, write Andy newman and Emily S. Rueb:

  • New York’s streets have never been for faint-hearted ice cream sellers. In the 60s an ice cream truck driver was kidnapped and had his truck blown up by competitors.
  • In 2004 a couple selling ice cream cones were beaten with a wrench.
  • Today the battle rages on between two popular chains: Mister Softee and New York Ice Cream (NYIC).
  • NYIC believes that midtown New York is its turf, and if a Mister Softee truck is seen on those streets, trucks will be ordered to surrounded the Softee truck, blocking it from making sales.
  • Meanwhile Softee drivers have claimed turf around the Upper East Side and East Harlem and carry bats in their vans in case a competitor dares to hawk its wares.
  • Like all iconic war stories, the warring parties were allies once – indeed, NYIC trucks actually used to be Mister Softee trucks, but rather than pay Mister Softee high licensing fees, the owner of NYIC repainted a bunch of trucks and started his own chain.

Read more here.

Source: The New York Times