The Success of Mr. Softee

Earlier this summer, I wrote about an ice cream truck rolling through our neighborhood at 10 p.m. At the time, I thought it was a little odd and annoying.

This was my first ever glimpse of the Mr. Softee ice cream truck. It was June and I saw it in our neighborhood at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night.

I changed my tune a week later when I actually tried product from that particular ice cream truck. Wow, I thought, if the ice cream is this good, it can come around at any hour it wants.

The next week after seeing the truck for the first time, we actually got ice cream. It was incredible.

Almost two months later, my attitude toward Mr. Softee is completely different than it was that initial June evening when I watched it drive by our cul-de-sac at a very non-traditional ice cream truck time. In fact, my opinion on Mr. Softee is even more accepting than it was after I was converted on the quality of the product alone. You see, it isn’t just the ice cream I like – it is the entire Mr. Softee marketing operation.

Sid, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew getting ice cream from Mr. Softee. The entire operation is pretty impressive.

For many of you who are probably unfamiliar, Mr. Softee is an ice cream truck franchise that originated in the northeast. Although it has been around since 1956, it hasn’t aggressively expanded its number of trucks until recently. Even now, you can only find Mr. Softee in 15 states. Luckily, South Carolina is one of them.

Mr. Softee started riding through Myrtle Beach streets just a few months ago. However, thanks to the way franchises do business, it made an immediate splash.

This is a Mr. Softee sundae I enjoyed in July. Can’t you just tell that it is quality ice cream by looking at it?

Mr. Softee offered something that “the other guys” didn’t – soft serve ice cream. We aren’t talking ice cream sandwiches and fudgesickles stuck in a freezer all summer long. Rather, what the new guy on the block brought to the table was a creamy, rich, and fresh product that had Myrtle Beach residents hooked from the first taste.

With actual ice cream on the menu opposed to a processed frozen dairy concoction on a stick, Mr. Softee was already a winner. But was that all? Hardly. Mr. Softee had enough marketing tricks up its sleeve to make an all-out assault on other ice cream trucks.

We are a Mr. Softee-loving family!

An identity is so important to any brand. On any given summer day, I can hear random children’s melodies playing outside. Oh, just another one of the numerous ice cream trucks in Myrtle Beach. Not with Mr. Softee. Every single Mr. Softee truck in all 15 states at all times plays the same jingle. There is no switching back-and-forth between songs when the driver grows tired of hearing one. By now, the Mr. Softee jingle is cemented in my brain (along with everyone else in Myrtle Beach) and when I hear it I know that delicious ice cream is not far away.

The perception of being unique is coveted by any company or franchise that is worth a damn. I have already made it clear that Mr. Softee offers an ice cream product that other trucks don’t. But it stands out in a couple of other ways too. You know how I initially bashed Mr. Softee for keeping late hours? Shame on me! The non-traditional schedule satisfies the large Mr. Softee adult fan base while at the same allows it to reach more customers and sell more ice cream. Mr. Softee is the “cool” ice cream truck that will remain on the streets when the sun goes down, outlasting the other trucks by hours. The franchise also accepts debit cards, hands out business cards, and will pull up to random block parties.

Although all of us in the family enjoy Mr. Softee, Sloan probably likes it most of all.

Nothing is more vital than effectively advertising your business. Not only does Mr. Softee thrive at this, it does so at a low cost. Social media, like many food trucks, is the major advertising vehicle of Mr. Softee (at least the Myrtle Beach franchise). Do you want to see Facebook engagement at its best? Watch what happens when the Mr. Softee page simply posts who wants ice cream? Hundreds of people will respond, creating enough leads for Mr. Softee to be busy for about 20 years (and that is just from a single post). There is no doubt about it, Mr. Softee has developed a unique social media voice with an extremely active audience. It is a money-making marketing machine.

Good PR can only help one’s marketing efforts and Mr. Softee has this covered as well. The truck will show up at community events, offer discounted prices for fundraisers, and even stop at local lemonade stands. This is all chronicled on the Mr. Softee Myrtle Beach Facebook page.

Nothing better than enjoying Mr. Softee with family.

Yes, Mr. Softee became a sensation on the Grand Strand this summer. The franchise has generated media coverage, won over avid fans, and established itself as the best ice cream truck in Myrtle Beach. Congrats to the franchise on its success and I hope the truck drives by our street soon. Don’t Blink.

America Thursday Rundown

Quick! What day is it?! If the Fourth of July holiday has you messed up, don’t feel bad! Because your trusty Don’t Blink blogger is just about to deliver his latest Thursday Rundown, you probably now have a good idea what day it is. Let’s get started…

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – When I read in the newspaper that the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was making a supermarket tour through Myrtle Beach, I knew we couldn’t miss it. The vehicle was in town at the end of last week and, lucky for me, CCU employees work only half days during the summer. So, that afternoon, Sid, Sloan, and I went to a Publix grocery store to visit the Wienermobile. It was quite exhilarating to see the iconic “hot dog on wheels” in person. We touched it and took photos with it. But the best part was what you can’t see in the photos. Off to the side of the Wienermobile was a food trailer giving away free Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Score!

On Friday, our family visited the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Fourth of July Recap – We had a nice holiday! The three of us woke up early (when don’t we wake up early?) and ate breakfast at a diner right next to our house. We then hit up our neighborhood pool before it got too busy. Next we headed over to my sister-in-law’s neighborhood to watch a Fourth of July golf cart parade her family was participating in. We ate an all-American lunch (chicken sandwiches) and watched the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. A little bit later we went swimming for the second time that day. After taking an hour or so to rest at our house, we went out on the boat with my in-laws to watch fireworks from the water. We anchored at Barefoot Landing and had an enjoyable time hanging out before the show started. When we walked through our front door to call it a day, it was a little past 11 p.m. ‘Merica.

We had a nice Fourth of July. We ended the holiday on the Intracoastal Waterway watching the Barefoot Landing fireworks.

Eating Breakfast – Of course I couldn’t mention that we went to a diner to eat breakfast without giving more details. After all, I am the blogger who believes that everyone should go out to breakfast every now and then. We went to the Early Riser Diner, a neighborhood restaurant located in a small strip mall not far from our house. Sidney had a Belgian waffle and Sloan had pancakes. I too had pancakes but did you think I would get them plain? I ordered the sweet potato pecan hotcakes and they were delicious.

We had a delicious breakfast at the Early Riser Diner on the Fourth of July.

Leftover Fireworks – On Fourth of July Eve, Sidney let me put on a fireworks show for our niece and nephew. My display attracted a lot of neighbor kids as well! I had a great time setting them off but because of bed times, I didn’t get to blow up my entire arsenal. I have some heavy artillery still left over. I am talking mortars and other powerful aerial fireworks. With us arriving home late last night, I didn’t have the opportunity to light them off. My question is this: How do you dispose of fireworks? I don’t want them around the house. I would rather give them away but if no one wants them, I need advice on how to properly toss them. Thanks.

Want some free fireworks? I did not finish the contents of this big box that we purchased over the weekend.

Taking Back My Words – Okay, I have to come clean. Last week, I sounded a bit irriatated when I mentioned that a Mr. Softee ice cream truck was cruising our neighborhood at 10 p.m. Let me take those hostile words back and say this: Mr. Softee is welcome in our neighborhood at any time! On Saturday, Sid and I bought a cone from the Mr. Softee truck and it was the best soft serve I have had in a long time. It was so good that I tried to hunt him down for another cone after he had left our street (no luck). If you haven’t had the pleasure, make sure to try Mr. Softee sooner rather than later.

Sidney with the Mr. Softee ice cream cone we shared on Saturday.


For those who made this an extended Fourth of July weekend, I hope you are enjoying yourself. Thanks for reading my blog and God bless America. Don’t Blink.

Fantastic Thursday Rundown

I can’t believe that in less than a week it will be the Fourth of July. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holiday – but time is going by so fast. Let’s proceed with the Thursday Rundown…

Sloan’s Playmate – There is absolutely nothing cuter than watching toddlers interact with each other. Last Friday, Sidney’s good friend, Leslie, visited us with her daughter, Stevie Blair. Just a couple months older than Sloan, the two are natural playmates. We took the little girls to our neighborhood pool for a Friday afternoon of fun in the sun. It was so cute to watch the two stand side-by-side in the water and play with pool tools. Although Sloan can work a little bit on her manners, they got along great.

Sloan and Stevie Blair enjoying their playdate.

Cap’n Crunch Blueberry Pancake Cereal – I am always game to try new cereals, especially ones that are a little wacky. Cap’n Crunch recently released a limited edition blueberry pancake delight. I took one look at the box and yanked it off the shelf. So, how was it? Well, when I opened the plastic bag inside the box, the aroma that floated out smelled exactly like a plate of fluffy blueberry pancakes! But the actual taste did not. Even though the taste didn’t match the smell, the cereal was still pretty good. It was mild and light with a fruity flavor. For $1, it was worth it.

My box of Blueberry Pancake Cap’n Crunch.

Late Night Ice Cream Visit – I have written extensively about my love for ice cream trucks. However, this past weekend my affinity was tested. At around 9:45 p.m., Sidney and I were on the couch watching “48 Hours.” Suddenly, we looked at each with puzzled expressions. Is that children’s music? It was. Wait, is that the ice cream man? It was. At this hour? No joke. I walked outside to investigate. Sure enough, a Mr. Softee ice cream truck was doing steady business about a block away from our house. Never mind that it was pitch dark or that most children were fast asleep – the dude driving the truck was obviously after the adult audience. He stayed parked in the same spot until after 10 p.m. before finally moving on. It was bizarre.

I caught this photo of the Mr. Softee ice cream truck going by our street well after 10 p.m. on Saturday night.

Big Brother 20 – As my wife tweeted yesterday, it is the best part of the summer! Last night, the latest season of Big Brother premiered. As a converted fan, the opening episode was something I looked forward to. This season is especially interesting to us – a Coastal Carolina University alumna is on the show! Rachel Swindler, a 2010 CCU grad, is competing for the $500,000 prize. Needless to say, she is who I will be rooting for! My backup favorite is Scottie, a 26-year-old shipping manager who is a complete nerd. I feel like I have a little “Scottie” in me, so how can I not pull for him?

Sid is right, the best part of the summer is here!

Hoopfest – Quick shout out to everyone participating in Hoopfest this weekend. The largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament on the planet, I was involved in the spectacle for many years. After my playing days ended, I volunteered as a court monitor, keeping order on the streets of Spokane for seven years. Since living in South Carolina, I have made the trip back to Spokane for the tournament once, and got on the news for doing it, but I won’t be returning this year. I hope everyone has a great time!

This is me wearing the 2015 Hoopfest t-shirt and shorts while holding the 2015 Hoopfest ball.


Enjoy this last weekend in June! It has been a good month for us and we look forward to continuing the good times over the next few days. As always, thanks for reading my blog. Don’t Blink.