I agree with Ginger Rogers and as the saying goes, Summer would not be summer, without ice cream. And July 25th is National Ice Cream Day which give me an opportunity to write about two immigrants whose company makes my favorite ice cream. I love Haagen-Dazs ice cream much to the detriment of my continuous diet.
The founders of the company are Reuben and Rose Mattus. Reuben was born in Poland and arrived at the Port of New York at age 9 with his widowed mother in 1921. Rose, born in Manchester, UK also arrived in 1921 at age 4 with her parents who originally emigrated from Poland.
Reuben started in the ice cream business at age 10, helping his uncle who was in the Italian lemon-ice business in Brooklyn. By the late 1920s, the family began making ice pops, chocolate-covered ice cream bars and sandwiches under the name Senator Frozen Products. Reuben and Rose met in high school. After high school, Rose went to work as a bookkeeper at the Senator plant in 1934 and they married. In 1959 Reuben decided to form a new ice cream company with a foreign sounding name. They invented the Danish sounding Haagen-Dazs as a tribute to Denmark’s exemplary treatment of its Jews during World War II. Their ice cream company proved to incredibly successful. In 1983 they sold the business to the Pillsbury Company for $70 million.
Due to their hard work, quality products and Rose’s marketing skills the Mattus’ achieved the American dream. I leave you with one ice cream thought: Life is like ice cream, enjoy it before it melts.