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Thursday, September 12, 2024

Respect Your Elders: Allan Ganz

#RespectYourElders: If you could make a career out of selling ice cream, would you? Meet Guiness World Record recipient Allan Ganz. At 81, he is the record holder for longest career as an ice cream man.

As the son of an ice cream truck owner, Ganz started selling chilly treats at just 10 years old in his father’s truck. The duo sold ice cream together for years and were fondly known as the Jolly Man and Jolly Jr. throughout the Boston area. When Ganz got his driver’s license at 16, he began taking the truck out on his own whenever he could. This freedom gave him his first taste of what it would be like to build a career of his own, and he couldn’t get enough.

“Everybody knows Allan. Allan covers every event we have in the city. He’s the best,” one of his customers told CBS.

Read on to learn about how driving his ice cream truck led to romance, and what his career looks like today.

While serving ice cream, Ganz developed lasting friendships with his customers and estimates that he knows about 90 percent of them by name. Ganz even met his wife, Rosalyn, while on his ice cream route! She and her friends were some of his regular customers, and they often struck up a conversation when he stopped in her neighborhood.

“I remember hearing the truck come, getting all excited,” Rosalyn Ganz told NPR.

This sentiment was shared by his fan base. The support he received from his customers inspired to him start his own ice cream business at age 40 and relocate to the nearby town of Peabody.

Today, Ganz’s town has a sign in his honor calling him “The King of Cool.” While Ganz just retired from being an ice cream truck driver full-time, he still hopes to sell ice cream once a week.

“I don’t want to sound big-headed, but ice cream has given me a name like a Ted Williams or a Babe Ruth or a Larry Bird,” he told NPR. “I have the same recognition here in Peabody.”

Read more about Ganz’s story here.

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