Mister Softee Turns 50

Mister Softee Turns 50
Birthday Plans Include Raising Money for Diabetes Research

New York, April 27, 2006 — Mister Softee, founded in 1956 by brothers William and James Conway, is celebrating its fiftieth birthday this year. Starting on Monday, May 2nd, Mister Softee franchise dealers throughout the city and elsewhere in New York state will be selling bracelets from their trucks with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Mister Softee has committed to donating $50,000 to the organization in celebration of fifty years of serving the community.

The first Mister Softee location was in a small garage in West Philadelphia. Having soft ice cream on a truck was a new concept and the brothers had developed a system that worked better than most. They soon decided that one way to grow their business quickly was through franchising. Their early success caused them to outgrow the first garage and in 1959 the company moved to the current location in Runnemede, NJ. It is at this location that Mister Softee transforms plain trucks into Americas’ most recognizable mobile ice cream vendor.

Today Mister Softee ( has approximately 600 trucks operating in more than 15 states. The single largest market is New York City and in the last year franchises have been added in New Mexico, Nevada and California. The current management of the company is headed by the sons of the founders, John and Jim Conway.

“We wanted to do something in conjunction with our 50th anniversary that would involve both our franchisees and our customers for the benefit of the larger community,” said Jim Conway Jr.

Conway attended a JDRF fundraiser in the fall and was moved by speeches from young men and women detailing their struggle with diabetes. He continued, “Since children make up the largest segment of our customer base, a partnership with JDRF to help in the effort to find a cure seemed like a perfect fit.”

JDRF was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes – a disease that strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $900 million to diabetes research worldwide. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and education about diabetes. JDRF’s mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. For more information about JDRF please visit


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