Carvel, Thomas Andreas
- Yanek Mieczkowski
Carvel, Thomas Andreas (14 July 1906–21 October 1990), corporation chairman, was born Thomas Andreas Carvelas in Athanossos, Greece, the son of a wine chemist. When he was four years old, his family moved to New York City. During the 1920s Carvel played drums and toured with a Dixieland band in the Catskill Mountains. He also worked as a mechanic in his older brother’s automobile garage and served as a test driver for Studebaker automobiles. In the early 1930s Carvel contracted tuberculosis and convalesced at a sanitarium in Saranac Lake, New York. Following medical advice that he work outdoors in the countryside, he began selling ice cream from a truck as well as from a hand cart he pushed around neighborhoods in Hartsdale, New York. On Memorial Day in 1934 his truck developed a flat tire, and he stopped in a vacant parking lot, where he plugged his freezer unit into a nearby pottery shop and continued to sell ice cream. At this point he developed the idea of opening his own ice cream store. He soon earned enough money to buy the pottery store, and his first Carvel ice cream store opened at that site. Carvel credited his father’s background in chemistry with encouraging him to experiment with different flavors and toppings in order to offer a wide variety of choices to consumers. While Carvel conducted experiments and did mechanical work, Agnes Stewart, whom he married in 1937, often ran the store....