Ice cream drivers at war

Photo: Rjsswf8 (CC)

The New York Times' feature about ice cream trucks in the city is packed with fantastic details and quotes from those who operate "bell-jingling fleets of pleasure craft festooned with pictures of perfectly swirled desserts and beaming children." It's brutal out there, and Mister Softee has just been muscled out of Midtown.

In 2012, a frozen yogurt vendor said that a Softee duo snapped his brakes with a crowbar, and the founder of the Van Leeuwen ice cream company said he had gotten death threats from Softee drivers. (A lawyer for Mister Softee, Jeffrey Zucker, said that while he had not heard about the 2012 allegations, “a franchisee could lose his or her Mister Softee franchise for engaging in that type of criminal activity.”)

“Let me tell you about this business,” Adam Vega, a thickly muscled, heavily tattooed Mister Softee man who works the upper reaches of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, said on Wednesday. “Every truck has a bat inside.”

If you're surprised that such a light-hearted product could result in such a ruthless, cutthroat business, enjoy the great Ice Cream Wars of Glasgow.

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