Vanilla vs. Chocolate. The great ice cream debate has not cooled off. There is only one way to settle it; we need to sample more!!! And in a long-standing tradition of customer engagement, the opportunity is available to residents & visitors in Salem Ma with The Salem Ice Scream Bowl.

As a way of saying “thank you” to the community for year ‘round support, local small businesses will serve samples of classic flavors and new combinations at booths on the Salem Common, Wednesday night, Aug. 8th from 6-7:30pm.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the top five “best-selling” ice cream flavors are:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Cookies N’ Cream
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

You can see there is no winner here. Vanilla is first by virtue of all the toppings you can add to it. But chocolate-filled flavors dominate the top five. All this according to a 2017 IDFA survey of ice cream makers and retailers across the United States.

But there is a winner

How much does a scoop of ice cream cost in your community? For $4 a kid ($6 if you are an adult) can get not one, not two, but perhaps 5 or more (depending upon how many merchants are participating) cups of ice cream at this Salem Ice Scream Bowl !

(At press time the list included area favorites Melt Ice Cream, Maria’s Sweet Somethings, Captain Dusty’s, E.W. Hobbs Ice Cream, and Cherry Farm Creamery.)

Furthering the spirit of community engagement, the participating small businesses don’t take any of the gate. Proceeds support Salem Main Streets (SMS), the downtown revitalization nonprofit that organizes the Salem Farmers’ Market and many other events in downtown Salem.  Since SMS also offers direct support to downtown businesses, these ice cream shops are helping other merchants in Salem.

Do you have something like this in your community? It’s another one of those win/win/win customer engagement events I love to promote. And whether you are a social media manager or small business owner, it is something worth looking into. If you would like more info regarding this event, contact Kylie Sullivan at Salem Main Streets at (978) 744-0004 x115 or email at

And, just in case you are wondering, my favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip. What’s yours?

(Your thoughts are ALWAYS welcome. Turn this into a conversation either here or on my Twitter account @amssvs)