Michael Strange has worked at Bassetts Ice Cream for 35 years. While Strange is the owner today, he didn’t found the business. That honor goes back 150 years and five generations.
“Bassetts Ice Cream was started by my great-great-grandfather Lewis Dubois Bassett at his farm in Salem, New Jersey,” Strange told In The Know. “He used ingredients on the farm to make this — at that time — relatively new product called ice cream. In 1893, the Reading Terminal Market opened and Bassett Ice Cream was the first tenant to sign a lease here.”
Fast forward to 2020 and Bassetts is the last remaining original merchant at the market. In the 1930s, Strange’s grandfather, Lewis Lafayette Bassett Jr., purchased ingredients right from the market and took them down to his plant. This is when Bassetts Ice Cream really found its footing.
When Strange decided to leave his job as a public accountant in 1983, his mother and grandfather suggested he take over the family business. He’s been at it ever since. The Bassetts now have two sixth-generation members of the family working at the business.
“When I first started I was very nervous about if I would like it or not but after that first summer, I never felt like doing anything else with my life,” Eric Bassett, the general manager told In The Know. “I know that I’ll be here for another 100 years hopefully.”
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