If Tom Carvel's ice-cream truck hadn’t had a flat tire one fateful day during Memorial Day weekend in 1934, he may have never started the country’s first retail ice-cream company. Faced with losing his entire supply of ice cream to the heat, he simply sold it from the side of the road. He was so successful that, years later, he opened his first store on that same site. His ice cream shops soon sprang up across the Northeast, and Tom cemented his place in business lore as the father of one of the country's earliest franchises.
The Carvel brand now runs shops in 25 states, where servers layer their famous chocolate and vanilla ice-cream cakes with crunchies and whip up batches of their soft-serve ice cream each day to create cones, sundaes, and shakes.