A Friendly Life: The Autobiography of S. Prestley Blake, Co-Founder of Friendly Ice Cream Corp.

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Prestley Blake" , jointly founded the Friendly Ice Cream Corporation later known more commonly as "Friendly's" , in during the Great Depression in their native Massachusetts. Under Hershey Foods, Friendly's grew to more than eateries, the highest number in its history. But the chain began to flounder because of high labor costs and intense competition.

Most analysts believed he paid far too much for the struggling firm, strapping the company a huge debt. Friendly's is a restaurant chain on the United States' East Coast. Friendly's was founded in in Springfield, Massachusetts, by the Blake brothers S. Prestley Blake and Curtis Blake. The Blake brothers opened a small ice cream shop named "Friendly", selling double-dip cones for 5 cents each. In , a second Friendly in West Springfield was opened with an expanded food menu. Established in , the law school has approximately 8, alumni who live and work across the United States and internationally.

Western New England Law offers both full-time and part-time programs. It is a college within Western New England University. History S. In , the first seven law graduates were recognized. In , Western New England College received an independent charter and ended its affiliation with Northeastern. The full-time law program began in The building is named after S.

S. Prestley Blake

The law school underwent major renovations in , inclu. Northfield Mount Hermon School, commonly referred to as NMH, is a co-educational college-preparatory school for both boarding and day students in grades 9—12 and postgraduates. The school is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, with the majority of the campus being located within the towns of Bernardston, Northfield, West Northfield , and Gill, Massachusetts. Originally two neighboring schools, the Northfield School for Girls founded in , and the Mount Hermon School for Boys founded in NMH merged into a single institution in and consolidated on one campus in Paul's School.

Anthony S. Beverly Miller. Selection as President Dr. Caprio was selected by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees in June , after a seven-month national search. He began his tenure as President on September 1, Caprio received the B.

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He undertook his studies also in Paris. He was awarded the honorary bachelor's degree from Western New England University in Since , he has worked as a teacher and administrator in a wide range of institutions, both private and public. Prior to his appointment as President of West. The following is a list of living centenarians living people who have attained the age of at least years known for reasons other than just their longevity.

For more lists of centenarians, see lists of centenarians. For living people known just for their longevity, see List of the oldest living people. Somers is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut. These were located mainly in Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, with the company's New England stronghold remaining untouched for the most part. The brand name also was changed, with a possessive "s" added to the end.


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Other changes included layoffs of 60 people at the corporate level, the planned revamping of all of the stores in the chain over the next several years, and folding the company's manufacturing and distribution operations into the newly created Food Service Division. Friendly also began to distribute its ice cream to supermarkets, starting in Albany, New York, and expanding throughout New England. Products ranged from half gallons of ice cream to pies, sundae cups, and cakes.

The desserts were grouped in a display that highlighted the company name, which served to cross-promote the restaurants.

Founded on Ice Cream

When frozen yogurt began to take the country by storm, Friendly also added this to its product mix. Looking at other income possibilities, the company opened a firehouse-styled restaurant concept called Company C Rotisserie and Grille in a closed Friendly's in Wyoming, Ohio. The experiment was only a limited success and was not developed further.

Despite the optimism engendered by Donald Smith's successful track record, Friendly Ice Cream's turnaround was moving slowly. In Consumer Reports ranked the company's restaurants last among 14 family food chains, citing surveyed customers' dissatisfaction with the food quality, service, and atmosphere. CEO Smith acknowledged the chain's problems, telling the Sunday Patriot-News Harrisburg, "The Blake brothers came up with a concept that evolved into something a notch above fast food.

When we bought the chain, that image had become blurred. Ongoing renovations to Friendly's restaurants, a program called "Focus ," included removal of booths, adding more family-sized tables, hiring additional serving staff, expanding carryout windows, and upgrading dinner menus. In healthier items such as roasted chicken and baked codfish were added. Sales per restaurant were up, and the company's annual revenues were growing slightly each year. Efforts to expand overseas also were being made, with ventures under way in the United Kingdom and the Far East.

By mid the company had renovated nearly 90 percent of its restaurants. It was on track to profitability, but the debt load and stiff competition in the marketplace had kept the balance sheet in the red since the purchase by TRC. In July the company announced a new franchise program, selling 34 of its restaurants in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D. A new limited-service ice cream shop concept, Friendly's Cafe, also was planned.

The Real Reason Why Friendly's Are Disappearing

Unfortunately, in early the price of fresh cream began to climb steeply, eventually tripling, and Friendly was forced to raise prices for its ice cream products while absorbing much of the increased expense. At the same time, stiff competition in the retail market was causing packaged ice cream sales to flatten out, and the boost in restaurant business that had been seen at renovated outlets also began to drop off.

In the latter case, analysts blamed the problems on continuing inconsistent service and a plethora of confusing menu additions. At the end of , the company announced that it would be closing its Troy, Ohio manufacturing and distribution center, moving those operations to the Wilbraham plant and a new facility in York, Pennsylvania. The move was intended to save shipping costs, as Friendly no longer had restaurants in Ohio and York was much closer to its East Coast stronghold. Friendly also pulled out of ventures it had launched in China and the United Kingdom. In early the company announced the appointment of a new president and chief operating officer and a new chief financial officer.

The stock price was inching upward again, and analysts were applauding the new moves. Friendly rolled out a new product in the spring, the "Cyclone" soft-serve ice cream cone, which could be purchased with a variety of mixed-in additions such as candy, cookie, and fruit pieces. This was the company's first soft-serve ice cream product ever and was brought out in part in response to the success of McDonald's new McFlurry dessert.


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Paperback , pages. Published May 1st by Raphel Marketing, Incorporated. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Friendly Life , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 10, Karen rated it it was amazing. I enjoyed reading the history of Friendly's. Part three was the part that had my attention the most. I am not a math expert so I was able to learn from it. Sep 04, Cheryl Malandrinos rated it it was amazing.