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The Shame That Is Carvel .... [moved from Manhattan board]

c
CaryMG Jun 8, 2010 07:35 AM

We have a family friend that takes me on her dogwalks.
To the nearest Carvel & back was about a mile and she thought that was a nice, healthy walk for the dog.

When we'd get to Carvel, she'd buy me a cone & I'd always get the same one -- Apple Strudel.
Creamy, with -- what I later find out -- egg yolks for *extra* creaminess ....
Chunks of applepie filling-type apples ....
Generous flecks o' cinnamon ....
Wowie kazowie!

Now?
I just went to the Carvel website.
Ice cream cakes, the Flying Saucers & "treats": soft icecream with toppings and,
as they emphasize, "a maraschino cherry on top!!11!!".
And that's it.
What's next? "We offer *cups* to put the icecream in !!!!1!"
Yeccchhh ....

WTF happens with Carvel?
Why no more hard ice cream?

  1. bagelman01 Jun 8, 2010 10:45 AM

    Sounds like a return to its roots. Carvel was a soft serve Ice Cream place. In the 1980s they forced franchisees to become 360 stores-open all year and serving hard ioce cream as well. The concept was not sucessful. Many stores folded. Tom Cavel-died, the comapny was sold to outsiders.
    Now stores can pretty much do what they want and corporate makes ice cream cakes for sale in supermarkets and competes with the franchisee for that business.

    I never liked the hard serve, so this works for me.

    Just give me a brown bonnet on vanilla soft serve in a sugar cone and I'm happy.

    1. r
      rockycat Jun 8, 2010 11:23 AM

      I'm not sure where you got the idea that they don't offer hard ice cream anymore. At least not from their website. It's right there under "Products." http://carvel.com/products/products.htm

      The appley thing you had was most likely a seasonal offering. That type of flavor doesn't sell too well in 90 degree heat.

      Stores cannot do pretty much what they want - and continue to hold their franchise. Like any franchisee, they are committed by contract to follow certain guidelines. That's not to say that some owners won't bend or break the rules to suit themselves but they are the exception. And yes, corporate does compete with the stores in the making and selling of ice cream cakes. They undercut the stores on price, too.

      Having said all that, I never really did like Carvel ice cream anyhow. I'd rather have Ben & Jerry's anyday.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rockycat
        c
        CaryMG Jun 9, 2010 10:28 AM

        ROCKYCAT
        The appley thing you had was most likely a seasonal offering. That type of flavor doesn't sell too well in 90 degree heat.

        As CLEARLY stated, the "appley thing" is Apple Strudel icecream & no, it's not "seasonal".
        What exactly'd be "Apple Strudel Season" ?

        ROCKYCAT
        I'm not sure where you got the idea that they don't offer hard ice cream anymore.
        At least not from their website. It's right there under "Products".

        That's deceptive.
        Show me ONE Carvel icecream store that sells hard iccream.
        Just ONE ....

        1. re: CaryMG
          r
          rockycat Jun 9, 2010 10:43 AM

          I used to be associated with the company. I no longer am, nor am I in the food business in any way. My departure from Carvel was not an entirely happy one and I really don't care if people slag the company from here to h**l and back. However, I do believe that, given my background, I know a bit more about how the business works than you do.

          Every winter we featured at least one apple-based limited time offering. ONLY in the winter. Sometimes the apple filling was heated. It depended on the recipe. So, at least according to the marketing brains at corporate, apple season is winter. You know, when apples are actually growing fresh?

          Since we do not have any Carvel stores anywhere remotely close to where I live and I obviously haven't been in the one you were at I can't tell you what exactly is in any store at any given time. So in that sense, I can't show you any Carvel at all. Was your location an express store? A co-brand? There are different guidelines for each iteration.

          Clearly you've got your knickers in a major twist to take such an aggressive attitude in your post. If you're that upset about it, why don't you call the corporate 800 number and let them know you're unhappy? They may actually care. Stranger things have happened.

      2. ttoommyy Jun 8, 2010 11:54 AM

        "Now? I just went to the Carvel website. Ice cream cakes, the Flying Saucers & "treats": soft icecream with toppings and,as they emphasize, "a maraschino cherry on top!!11!!".
        And that's it."

        I'm 49 and used to go to Carvel all the time in the late 60s and 70s. And that's exactly what I remember them serving. They never had hard ice cream when I used to go. What years are you talking about CaryMG?

        6 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy
          a
          anonymouse1935 Jun 9, 2010 01:12 AM

          ttoommyy, I remember when Carvel was good too, before Tom died.

          Now it's corporate ice cream with air mixed in at ever greater proportions than before and prices high enough for a tiny cone to drop a jaw.

          All good things come to an end.

          1. re: anonymouse1935
            ttoommyy Jun 9, 2010 04:42 AM

            Ah, Tom Carvel and his magical voice. Oh, the memories of those commercials! lol

            1. re: ttoommyy
              thew Jun 9, 2010 04:53 AM

              "a whale with a hat on it - betcha never seen that before!"

              "thiny-thin, for your fatty-fat friends"

              1. re: thew
                ttoommyy Jun 9, 2010 05:48 AM

                Cookiepuss...and the Beastie Boys song it spawned!

                They were all basically the same shape mold, just decorated for different occasions and holidays. Ah, the good old days!

                1. re: thew
                  a
                  anonymouse1935 Jun 9, 2010 05:57 AM

                  "thiny-thin, for your fatty-fat friends"

                  Ohhh, did he say that? I bet Tom Carvelas did say that!

                  Hilarious.

                  1. re: anonymouse1935
                    w
                    werewolf Jun 10, 2010 07:30 AM

                    I remember that too - "Thinny Thin for you fatty fats"!

          2. c
            CaryMG Jun 9, 2010 10:33 AM

            TTOOMMYY
            They never had hard ice cream when I used to go.
            What years are you talking about CaryMG?

            The aforementioned 70s into the early 80s.
            In case anyone might happen to be familiar with the area, it's the former Carvel's across the street from Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

            And as an aside ....
            How likely is it Tom was driving along some highway one day & happened across a warehouse that was firesaling whale-shapped pate molds and bought the whole lot -- thinking somehow/someway he'd parley 'em into the stores by tieing in whale's with some sort of special occasion ....

            Father's Day ....
            He's a great guy ...
            A *whale* of a guy ....
            WHALE OF A DAD !!11!! lol

            Then, being the cheap -- I-I mean "fiscally shrewd" -- fellow that he is, he knew that just by rotating the mold 90 degrees in either direction, he could foist off leprachans & Santy Claus onto an unsuspecting public.

            But holy guacamole is Carvel icecream good ....
            Ben & Jerry's ?
            I dunno ....
            The ice cream has an "off" flavor -- like maybe artificial eggyolk powder or something.
            I *know* that's not what it is -- I'm trying to speculate as to what that flavor might actually taste like.

            And for the record, Haagen-Dazs is the King Of The Hill now.
            Carvel always ran a *smidgen* of a close second.
            With HD branching out into BJ-like flavors, they've only served to expand thier lead.

            2 Replies
            1. re: CaryMG
              r
              roro1831 Jun 9, 2010 12:50 PM

              You say the aforementioned 70's and 80's, but I don't see where you said that. I went back and read it three times, maybe I'm blind.

              And honestly, 20-30 years ago and you are just wondering what happened?

              1. re: roro1831
                ttoommyy Jun 9, 2010 01:01 PM

                "You say the aforementioned 70's and 80's, but I don't see where you said that. I went back and read it three times, maybe I'm blind."

                Yeah, that confused me too.

            2. a
              aynrandgirl Jun 10, 2010 05:04 PM

              I've found Carvel's main item, soft serve, to be grossly inferior to DQ's.

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