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Bassett’s Ice Cream Celebrates 150th Birthday During National Ice Cream Month

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Customers stand in line at Bassett's Ice Cream Stand in Reading Terminal Market. (Credit: Karin Phillips)

Customers stand in line at Bassett’s Ice Cream Stand in Reading Terminal Market. (Credit: Karin Phillips)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – July is National Ice Cream Month and Bassett’s, America’s oldest ice cream company, is celebrating its 150th birthday.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month.

Debbie Tom says that’s good but, “Every month should be National Ice Cream Month (laughs).”

Tom is one of dozens lined up at Bassett’s Ice Cream Stand in Reading Terminal Market, where it has been since 1893. Tom, from Bethlehem, always stops at Bassett’s when she’s in town.

bassetts phillips Bassett’s Ice Cream Celebrates 150th Birthday During National Ice Cream Month

Bassett's Ice Cream has been in Reading Terminal Market since 1893. (Credit: Karin Phillips)

“This is the Peanut Butter Swirl and it’s delicious.”

Roger Bassett, the 5th generation, says Bassett’s has remained virtually the same since his ancestor started it in 1861. Well, almost.

“Way back in the 20’s and 30’s in the Market, all we served were dishes, because my grandfather would make the ice cream in the basement and it was never frozen hard as it is now.”

You can hear Karin Phillips interview with Roger Bassett in this CBS Philly ‘Specials Place’ podcast…

On July 16th, Bassett’s will be celebrating with a big day of ice cream at Reading Terminal Market. “We’ve invited a few other ice cream purveyors in the Philadelphia area to come celebrate with us and make a cake, a special cake, celebrating Bassett’s Ice Cream and a lot of the Bassett family will be there, cutting the cakes and giving them out.”

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060

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