Begun, These Ice Cream Wars Have

When Sebastian was telling me the tales of different types of ice cream trucks he had available to him growing up based on whether he was at home or visiting an aunt or grandmother, I joked that there were ice cream truck turf wars that kept those boundaries in line.

I was joking because in America the idea that one would get violent over ice cream – especially when trucks often sell different types of ice cream novelties and cones – is just completely absurd. It’s insane.

But, apparently, the NYT reports that it’s the typical business model in New York City. It started out with trademark infringement that resulted in more than $765,000 in legal awards (that haven’t been paid by the offender), but then it elevated to surrounding competing trucks and beating on them. A driver for New York Ice Cream, the offending company, admits that they get physical with other drivers in an effort to enforce “turf” illegally. There’s apparently a decades-long history of violence among other companies, too. One driver in 1969 was kidnapped and had his truck blown up. More recently, a couple was beaten to critical condition with a wrench.

Talk about New York Values. It’s amazing that the city wants to leave the victims unable to defend themselves. Well, it’s not shocking since we’re not talking about America here.

6 thoughts on “Begun, These Ice Cream Wars Have”

  1. Might want to think twice about letting your kids walk up to people who are willing to attack others with a wrench over “turf”.

  2. Not the first time I’ve heard of this; and it makes sense to me. There’s a lot of cash, low barriers to entry, and the opportunity to act as a point of sale for less legal items?

  3. I’m honestly more surprised Nanny Bloomberg didn’t ban the sale of ice cream novelties due to sugar/fat/cholesterol, like he did with large sodas and trans fats.

    1. I don’t know. I mean, people enjoy soda and salty stuff and things, but they also know that they’re pretty bad for you. Concern for my own health is in the back of my mind along with the good tastes whenever I eat them. I think that created some emotional room for Bloomberg’s measure to come off as well-intentioned in people’s minds.

      Ice cream, though? I think people feel differently about ice cream. It’s not just fatty and sugary, it’s comfort food that you don’t eat all that often, and ice cream trucks are especially for children on hot summer days, and the kids will just burn off the fat anyway. I think if Bloomber went after ice cream trucks, people would think he was worse than Osama bin Hitler.

  4. I don’t know about these days, but there was a time when in Philadelphia it was well known you couldn’t dream of operating a hotdog cart unless you had an in with the vendors mafia. They would get physical.

  5. Well to be fair, it’s not so much the ice cream as it is the fact that the trucks are great for mobile drug dealing.

Comments are closed.