Calvert County Times January 11, 2018 - Page 6

6 Local News The Calvert County Times Thursday, January 11, 2018 It’s Freezing Outside: Cope with Some Ice Cream By Casey Bacon Contributing Writer Ice cream, invariably, is a summer staple: there is no better way to cool down on a sweltering day than with a scoop from your local ice cream shop. As Americans, we are among the top global consumers, annually eating an average of five and a half gallons of ice cream per capita. While the dog days of summer leave everyone crav- ing the sweet treat, the plummeting temperatures of winter just as soon push the thought to the wayside in fa- vor of warm baked goods. But while other cold-food stores shut their doors, Bruster’s lights remain on, inviting you to grab a pint of your favorite holiday flavor. Founded by Bruce Reed in 1989, the company has its name on over 200 in- dependently owned locations around the U.S., and prides itself on making all ice cream “the old-fashioned way” at each store daily. With over 140 fla- vors of ice creams, sherbets, Italian ices and more in their recipe book, Bruster’s quality, versatility, and year- round operation set it apart from com- petition and keep customers coming back for more, something that the local Hollywood location has lauded for 11 years. It’s this “amazing customer base” that six-year operator Lolli Mills cred- its for the store’s success throughout the year. While each Bruster’s has the option of winter operation, Mills says the Hollywood store chooses to do so because “as ice cream lovers [our- selves], we know people still crave it in the colder months!” By Dick Myers Editor Dr. Daniel Curry Crave they do: a 2011 U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture study found that even in off-peak December, when ice cream production is at its lowest point, there are still some 50 million gallons of ice cream made. Figures for August, the month of highest-production in the study, recorded 77 million gallons of the treat sold. With those figures, America’s rank as the second-largest global ice cream market (behind only China) comes as no surprise. Yet rather than warmer southern states gobbling up the most of the dessert, it’s the northeast with the strong sweet tooth: information com- pany Bundle found in a 2016 study that six of the top ten consuming states hail from this area of the country despite the annual frigid winters (Maryland didn’t make the cut, but nearby D.C. was ranked first). Why? Nothing conclusive, but it could have to do with seasonal flavor availability (hello, gingerbread and eggnog), the soothing cold on sore throats, popular à la mode options for pies and brownies, or the ideal mix of a good sofa, television show, and big bowl of the frozen treat. With this pen- chant, however, winter relevancy of our local Bruster’s seems more obvi- ous, with additional ice cream specials and holiday gift card promos helping to keep the business profitable in the colder months. Profits, of course, rise and fall in ac- cordance to these seasonal changes: a 2014 study by online marketplace Foo- dyDirect found that sales predictably reach their peak in July and August, while December to February sales dip with the temperature. Mills knows to Southern Maryland’s cold winters may not attract this many customers, but this patronage is typical on a summer weekend. Photo courtesy of Bruster’s of Hollywood. expect these trends in her store, noting that “after those key summer months, business starts slowing down and we enter our less active months,” lining up with FoodyDirect’s findings. But she also realizes that with March’s warmer temperatures come an “upswing in customers” and the earliest annual in- crease of business. 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