Ice Cream Turf Wars: Battle of the Softees


In a story that just BEGS for the use of as many puns as possible, the cold war between ice cream trucks in NYC has just gotten a lot frostier.

Okay, I think I got all of that out of my system.

I think.

The New York Post reports on the ongoing competition between ice cream trucks as different companies try to claim coveted, highly trafficked areas in the high stakes game of frozen desserts.

Apparently, the majority of the animosity is felt between the stalwart Mr. Softee vendors and newcomer frozen-yogurt seller Yogo. The bad blood is at least partly based on a defining event for the two companies that dates back to 2010, “when a rogue group of Softees quit and founded the rival company [Yogo].”

The bad blood is not just something to joke about though, because it is spilling over into actual violent acts and is “leaving a trail of sabotaged trucks, bloody noses and even death threats.” The Post notes that this is not just a Sharks and Jets kind of a feud, there is also discord within the Softee empire and reports on instances of what it awesomely calls “Softee-on-Softee violence.”

There has even been talk of the Mafia.

But then, such talk was quickly dismissed by Jim Conway, vice-president of Mr. Softee. He told the Post, “I find the statement insulting. I would have no clue as to how the Mafia operates.”

So that settles that.

Except that…this is just like that thing in The Godfather! When that guy left the family or something and there was a bloody horse head!

Actually? Here’s a fact for you. I’ve never seen The Godfather.

I know! It’s kind of embarrassing, but now it just feels like it would be disappointing. But maybe I should? I’ll have to think about it.


Most of the real trouble has been localized to midtown Manhattan.

Perhaps because, in Brooklyn, things are different. Better. More civilized.

As second-generation Good Humor truck operator from Bensonhurst Maria Campanella says, “The routes are [based on] a gentleman’s agreement. I have my route, you have your route, and we stay away from each other’s route.”

So, to sum up: Manhattan is being overrun by gang-related Softee-on Softee violence and Brooklyn ought to consider shutting its borders to keep the trouble-makers out.

And I haven’t seen The Godfather. But I have seen, and happily reference, West Side Story.

I love summer in the city.

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