Remembering the Ice Cream King


July is national cream month and what a way to celebrate than by highlighting ice cream king Tom Carvel. Born in Athens on July 14, 1906, Athanasios Karvelas arrived in NYC with his parents in 1910. In 1929, he borrowed $15 from his future wife and began selling ice cream from a truck. In 1934 he had a flat tire and he parked his truck in a store lot and sold what was left, establishing the nation’s first retail ice cream store. Today Carvel has over 500 locations throughout the nation.


1 Comment

  1. In honor of National Ice Cream Month it would be fun to do a story on the wide influence Greeks had in the ice cream industry nationally. I can't speak for other cities but I can say that here in Chicago my dad started Alexander's Ice Cream Company in 1966. Starting with one ice cream truck to eventually acquiring over 100 such trucks that could be seen and heard all summer long on the streets of the city and suburbs of Chicago, dad charted the course of our lives through how many snow cones, Eskimo Pies, Drumsticks, etc his trucks were able to sell. Dad was amazing and had a big heart. If he heard someone had arrived from Greece, a job driving an ice cream truck was theirs for the taking. There were plenty of people dad helped give a start to in the ice cream business. Dad never turned down a call for help and his actions enriched our lives. Through the years our drivers included various ethnic/racial/cultural groups: African Americans, Africans (Nigeria, Ghana, etc), Mexicans, Chinese, Arabs, and many more. My life growing up was a patchwork cobbled together by influences from all of these diverse cultures. Though we came from different parts of the world, ice cream set in place our common experience.

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