Historical Article (1896)
Luther F. Stevens
American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record: A Semi-monthly Illustrated Journal of Practical Pharmacy. Volume 29. July 1896. p. 3
First and foremost, let me sound a warning which will stand much repetition. If you do not like the soda business, or think the fountain a nuisance, or consider the whole as demeaning to your profession, leave it severely alone. Should a clerk get some such notion in his head, either from you or from some one else, or because of his own inherent inertia, never send him to that part of the store, for he will drive away more custom in a day than the best of men can build up in a week. This applies to yourself also. Consider whether you are good at that line. Quite possibly it may be better to hire a boy.
When you have decided to go into soda water, get your thinking cap from the safety deposit vault and wear it occasionally. It is, in fact, a good plan to have it on all the time, for the necessity is that the dear public may know you are in business for keeps, remembering that it is the nickel in the public pocket which the soda magnate is intended to draw out...
Ice Cream Soda
If it is concluded to admit ice cream to the sacred precinct of the drug store soda fountain, and sooner or later you will be obliged to, go it strong, don't give a 1 percent solution; have it good and get a corresponding price. Ice cream cabinets have made this matter easy, and there are makers in plenty who will deliver you quantities as wanted, and if necessary several times a day.
A Jack Frost Freezer, which is not expensive, will furnish cream as needed, and is handy where trade is intermittent. The custard being made up each morning and kept on ice, a little may be poured into the trough from time to time during the day. The cylinder being kept packed with ice and salt, a turn or two of the crank pushes fresh-made cream from the spout into the tumbler.
There is this advantage in handling ice cream. The amount of syrup, of flavors and of plain cream consumed is reduced nearly one half, making the actual cost for ice cream soda but little more than for a good, rich glass of old-fashioned, regular "with cream." When an appreciative trade can be found, crushed fruits and shaved ice go well, or fruit and ice cream, either making a very taking combination.
In an endeavor to build up a good soda trade, or having so built, it is best to have in the store one or more hands to whom that shall be the principal occupation. I see many places where the boy is shouted for from the back room, to travel the length of a long store while two or three would-be drinkers are supposed to wait patiently [for] his slow advent. But whoever you have, whether man or boy or girl, skill and appropriate attire become an exceedingly large factor in the result.
Other Soda Articles:
The American Drink (1897)
Evils of Encouraging the Ice Cream Soda Trade (1897)
How to Draw A Glass of Ice Cream Soda (1893)
Serving Ice Cream Soda (1901)
Soda Water (1896)
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