Experientialist: a collector of experiences, especially one-of-a-kind.
All of them! Let me explain.
My very first job, with an honest to goodness paycheck, was with Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream (for those of you on the East Coast – Edy’s Ice Cream). This was when the company had one office and two distribution centers, one in Oakland, California (the main location which held all of the offices) and the other in San Leandro, California.
This company was started by “William Dreyer and Joseph Edy…who created the original Rocky Road ice cream. The chocolate, marshmallow and nut flavor was created in late 1930 and was named Rocky Road as a means of describing the ice cream’s texture as well as the troubled economic times of the Great Depression. Dreyer and Edy are also credited with originating the Toasted Almond and Candy Mint flavors.” (link below)
I was going to give you a brief run down on the company, but found this website and it gives a very accurate and detailed account of the history of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream.
If there is such a thing as the perfect “first” job, then I had it. I worked in the production offices with 4 other people, Les Schallenberger, Steve Eis, Diane and Judy.
Dreyer’s was a small company when I worked for them, (it had not gone public yet) and Wednesday’s were very special days. Someone from the ice cream parlor would come take an ice cream order from everyone of the employees in the morning and then in the afternoon, we would have our treat of choice delivered to us.
I was in high school when I worked for them during my summers off from school. My mom also worked for them, she was the receptionist and was known as “the voice of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream.” No one since her was ever given that title again.
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with the following amazing individuals: Ken Cook (who later sold the company to Cronk & Rogers and went onto start another company Cook’s Flavorings),
Rick Cronk, Gary Rogers,
Les Schallenberger, Steve Eis, John Thomason, and John Harrison who was/is in charge of development/research and is the “official taste tester” for Dreyer’s. He was/is so instrumental to the growth of the company that his tongue was/is insured for $1 million dollars.
I also worked with some real unique personalities: Donna, who not only was a royal witch (to my mother), but had more jewelry (especially bracelets) than Cleopatra (she also had a bit of a “reputation”); Carolyn was my first “other” mother and Bob Keating (the first “older” person I wanted to date. Much to my mother’s horror).
It was during this time that I had my 16th birthday – woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you think of a better place to have a birthday (like your 16th) than at an ice cream plant? To top it off, it was a surprise birthday party too! (I still have my birthday card.)
I had the joy of tasting ice cream right after it has been made, but before the add ons are included and it goes into the final stage of deep freeze. It is not like soft ice cream, it is an entirely different experience. Nirvana? You bet. It was mint chip and the chips had been sprinkled on top.
I also had the experience of alerting the company to the fact that one of their unique flavors – Green Tea, tasted simply like vanilla with green food coloring. They immediately tested it in the shop, the plant, had it checked in the distribution center and it was pulled from sale. The ice cream was not right.
In high school I had the pleasure of doing a presentation on how ice cream is made, what makes it so special, how the different kinds differ. (A little FYI-I hated my typing class so much that I would give my typing teacher gift certificates and hope for a passing grade!)
During the time I was in high school, Dreyer’s did many promotional events and I was the person who did many of these events. It didn’t hurt that as a budding driver, and being in the market for a car, that I was able to purchase the abandoned “Dreyer’s Mobile”, a very old station wagon (very helpful when transporting ice cream and supplies to promotional events!).
After high school, I continued working in the ice cream field and went to work for one of Dreyer’s major ice cream distributors.
A few years later, Steven Eis of the production offices found me in San Francisco and we had a couple of dates, but it was a little too weird. I really think he had a crush on my mom and got confused.
When my mom and I went on our vacation, we took a little trip down memory lane. We stopped by Dreyer’s, but it wasn’t the same. It was purchased by Nestle and is so huge, that the “receptionist” had to look up employees on a roster. The original front door was sealed and while the ice cream parlor is still there – it too has changed with the time. It feels like a corporation, not like the family atmosphere I had come to know and love as an employee.
So, you can see why my answer is all of them. How can I be partial to one flavor when I have intimate knowledge and experience with so many? I have even come up with my own flavor.