Because a mother – back in 1935 – thought her two sons needed a summer job – Friendly’s Ice Cream Corp is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a family restaurant “where ice cream makes the meal.” From that first shop opened in Springfield, Massachusetts the business now has 12,000 employees in a chain of 508 restaurants concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S.A.
In a video shown at a recent celebration – ninety-five year old S. Prestley Blake and his ninety-three year old brother said they used to get upset if someone left one of their stores without getting a “Thank You” or “Please Come Again.” It is a lesson he tried to instill in every Friendly’s employee as the chain grew. “Remember the name on the door,” Curtis Blake said. “Always be friendly to every customer.” And the name remains.
In the Greater Lowell area there are Friendly’s restaurants in Tewksbury, Billerica and Chelmsford.