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Friendly’s celebrates 75 years
Today's Restaurant Internet Exclusive
Monday, 16 August 2010 21:38

Pioneer in Full-Service Dining Industry Grew from Ice Cream Shop Founded During Great Depression to Chain of 500-plus Restaurants

Friendlys_1Wilbraham, MA - Friendly’s, a family dining chain, celebrated the company’s 75th anniversary on July 18, 2010. The history of Friendly’s is a “Great American Success Story” – what began as a neighborhood ice cream shop started by two young brothers during the worst economic time in U.S. history has since grown into a company of more than 500 restaurants that manufactured over 17 million gallons of ice cream in 2009.

In 1935, 20 year-old Prestley and 18 year-old Curtis Blake opened a neighborhood ice cream shop in their hometown of Springfield, Mass., selling double-dip cones for five cents. The young entrepreneurs named the business "Friendly" with the intention of providing warm, caring, neighborly service to all of their guests.

When the Blake brothers opened their second location in West Springfield, Mass., a customer convinced them to add food to the menu. The first item was a hamburger, which would later turn into the famous Friendly’s Big Beef®.

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