A Guide to Ice Cream Customers

Photo by Ian Dooley (https://unsplash.com/photos/TLD6iCOlyb0)

Everybody loves ice cream. Well, at least every sane human being does. I myself love ice cream so much that I find myself eating it by the pint despite my lactose intolerance. In order to feed this near addiction to the greatest desert food of all time, I have worked at an ice cream parlor for the past three years.

Working at an ice cream parlor teaches you a lot of things, like how to make a perfect scoop, how to use a cash register, and how to sneak a spoonful of ice cream while your boss isn’t paying attention. While free ice cream is a great benefit, my favorite part of the job is interacting with the wide variety of customers that come in. Since ice cream is something so widely loved, I get the opportunity to meet all sorts of different people.

Having served so many customers in my three years, you begin to notice patterns. Many people of similar qualities, whether it be age, appearance, or anything in between, tend to order the same flavors. For some people, you can tell exactly what they are going to order as soon as they walk in the door. With that being said, I have decided to put my vast knowledge of ice cream customers to good use, and have compiled a list of many different flavors and the customers that order them. Chances are, you probably fit into one of these categories.

Birthday cake: There are two sides of the spectrum when it comes to Birthday Cake. You are either a little kid who can hardly even pronounce “Birthday Cake”, or a full grown adult who is a little kid at heart. I personally can’t stand the overly sweet neon blue goo that is Birthday Cake flavored ice cream, but I see how it can appeal to children or someone with a sweet tooth. When someone orders it, I sometimes find myself reaching for the rainbow sprinkles and gummy bears before they even ask for them (which they always do).

Rum Raisin and Butter Pecan: When an elderly couple walks into the shop, chances are they get Rum Raisin, Butter Pecan, or both. These are also flavors that I don’t like very much, mainly because they taste like how the old people that order them smell. Every now and then they may ask for some hot fudge on top, but most prefer it straight up.

Mint Chip: Now don’t get me wrong, Mint Chip is a great ice cream flavor, but it gets more attention than it deserves. An average Mint Chip buyer is usually a teenager or young adult, who doesn’t even bother to glance at any of the other flavors. They are by far the most common customers to get, which is why Mint Chip is the most popular flavor at the parlor where I work. Yup, you heard that right. Chocolate? Nope. Vanilla? Nope. Mint Chip. I’ve gotten into heated debates with friends and coworkers that claim it’s the greatest flavor ever, and every time I’m outnumbered. Maybe I’m just missing some taste buds or something.

Mocha Chip: Where I work, Mocha Chip was a flavor that discontinued after the first year I had a job there. As the name entails, it is coffee ice cream with chocolate chips. The stereotypical Mocha Chip fans are middle aged women, who only get it on sugar cones. Despite the flavor being discontinued, they still ask for it every time they come in. When you tell them they can get Coffee ice cream with chocolate chips as a topping, they always refuse for some reason.

Dark Chocolate Chip: I’m just gonna be honest, I’m gonna be very biased on this one. Dark Chocolate Chip is the best flavor of all time, and the people that get it know that. Usually bought by adults, there is a tone in their voice when they order it that lets you know they think it’s the best. And well, I couldn’t agree more.

Pistachio: If the customer has a European accent, they will most likely order Pistachio. Most of the time they will get it with another flavor like Chocolate or Vanilla, and more rarely Coffee. The strangest part about it is how they eat it. They almost always get it in a waffle cone, but for some reason still eat it with a spoon. When I went to Germany last summer I quickly noticed that this was how most ice cream was served there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not weird.

Coffee: Very surprisingly, or at least to me, most people that order plain Coffee ice cream are little kids. I don’t know about anybody else, but when I was a kid I absolutely hated the taste of coffee. Granted that it doesn’t taste much like the real thing, I still wouldn’t even have gotten near it when I was young. While it might not make that much sense to me, I do have a hypothesis for young children’s love of Coffee ice cream. Considering the semi-recent rise in popularity of Starbucks, I feel like kids have begun drinking coffee at a much earlier age. This seems like the most likely reason, but maybe I was just a really strange kid.

Peanut Butter: Everybody knows someone who puts peanut butter on anything they can, and customers that order Peanut Butter ice cream are no exception. No, seriously. Most people that get Peanut Butter always ask for more peanut butter on top. Mainly thirty-some year old guys, you can feel them staring at you as you pour on the extra peanut butter and wait for the inevitable, “is it possible to get a little more?”.

Butterscotch Vanilla: This is the signature flavor of Bassett’s, the company that supplies our ice cream. Being a local Philadelphia brand, we get loads of customers that come in specifically for this flavor. Typically, the people that order Butterscotch Vanilla are in their upper middle ages, and grew up eating it. Like most adults, they never get it with toppings. Strangely, they also always order it in a cup. Never in a cone. I have no idea when the ice cream cone was invented, but maybe they just didn’t have them back in their day. Sometimes I even find myself reaching into the freezer for a spoonful of it. Maybe that means I’m getting old.

Salted Caramel: Salted Caramel is the staple flavor of hipsters. Chances are if a millennial with round glasses who still wears a scarf in ninety degree weather is ordering, they go straight to the Salted Caramel. Why? I have no idea. I wish I could tell you more, but I seriously have no idea why they love this flavor so much.

Banana: Banana is a flavor that some people swear by. If you are like myself you find it gross, but some people, mainly teenagers, love it more than anything else. Someone that gets Banana never just gets a scoop, they always get the largest size possible. In all my years of working, I can’t think of one time I scooped a small Banana. Another odd thing about people that order Banana is that they never mix it with another flavor. You’d imagine people would pair it with flavors like Peanut Butter or Chocolate, but for some odd reason that’s just not the case.

Graham Slam: The official ice cream of the Philadelphia Phillies, Graham Slam is made up of graham cracker flavored ice cream with chocolate covered marshmallows. Any customer that comes in with some sort of Phillies related attire is bound to get it, and let me tell you, people go crazy for this flavor. Usually only available at Phillies games, people get ecstatic when they see we have the flavor. They then usually give the spiel about how “you can’t buy it in the grocery store anymore” and how good they think it is. During the spring and summer, this stuff flies out of the freezer before and after Phillies games.

Milkyway: Like the name suggests, Milkyway is just like the candy bar. Chocolate, nougat, and caramel. What is a typical Milkyway fan like you may ask? Nothing. No one orders Milkyway.

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