The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Ice Cream Wars

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Mister or Master, Softee is a cad.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I say this every time that the Mister rings his bells: Mrs. Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Mister Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.

Pictured above is a proper “Mister Softee” truck, found on its rounds in Astoria one night, doing exactly what he told the Mrs. that he’d be up to. 

Still, the Mrs. hears stories. It might be that people are describing the romantic misadventures of Master Softee, who is single, and unapologetic about it.

from wikipedia

Mister Softee is a United States-based ice cream truck franchisor popular in the Northeast. It was founded by William and James Conway (Oct. 30, 1927 – May 28, 2006) in 1956 in Philadelphia. It is one of the largest franchisor of soft ice cream in the United States. It has about 350 franchisees operating 600 trucks in 15 states. The company is headquartered in Runnemede, New Jersey. It is still run by the Conway family; James Conway, Jr. is now President.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Simone Weichselbuam wrote a fantastic piece over at back at the beginning of May, describing the conflict between the long running “Mister Softee” Ice Cream Truck empire (based in NJ) and the upstart “Master Softee” operation which runs its business out of LIC. Check it out below.


Mister Softee is anything but soft when it comes to safeguarding his cherished name.

The New Jersey-based owner of the ubiquitous ice cream trucks is suing a rogue Queens vendor, charging he opened his depot in Long Island City to peddle a knockoff version.

A mix of about two dozen nearly identical Master Softee and Mister Softee trucks are lined up inside and outside Dimitrios Tsirkos’s 11th St. garage.

The fledgling business has soured tempers throughout Mister Softee headquarters in South Jersey and its franchisees across Queens and the Bronx.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been observing the “Master” variant with increasing frequency during recent forays across the concrete devastations. So many so that I might have to start offering the following statement:

Mistress Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Master Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.


“All Triskos did was change the ‘i’ in ‘Mister’ to an ‘a,’ [and] Tsirkos continues to use all of Mister Softee’s trade dress and the Mister Softee truck design and [jingle],” the injunction request said. “Clearly, changing just one letter in the mark and using it in conjunction with the other Mister Softee marks constitutes trademark infringement that continues to cause Mister Softee irreparable harm.”

Mister Softee says that customers buying ice cream from Tsirkos’ rogue trucks “may believe they are dealing with an authorized Mister Softee franchisee, who is storing and dispensing Mister Softee food products in a sanitary manner … when in fact, they are not.”

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There are two Newtown Creek walking tours, and a Magic Lantern show, coming up.

Saturday, May 31st, Plank Road with Newtown Creek Alliance.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Saturday, June 7th, 13 Steps around Dutch Kills with Atlas Obscura.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Wednesday, June 11th, Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show with Brooklyn Brainery.
Click here for tickets and more info.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

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