Happy 150th Birthday Bassett’s Ice Cream

I got my accidental start in the market business by ‘volunteering’ at Bassett’s Ice Cream at Reading Terminal Market in 1980.
The purpose was to listen to customers and get dialogue for a murder mystery I was writing.
It was a fateful day – for that morning a group of executives from the Reading Railroad (which owned the market) walked past the ice cream counter. I knew one of them, and he asked me to his office on Monday. Right then and there he offered me a job helping to get the market back on its feet again. That was over 30 years ago!
Bassett’s has always been one of my favorite places ever since going there with my grandfather in 1959.
5th Generation owner, Michael Strange and his cousin Roger Bassett are the last original tenants in the Reading Terminal Market – Bassett’s has been there since opening day, February 12, 1892. They started in another location in 1861 at 504 Market Street. Don’t go looking for the original location, the entire 500 block of Market Street was demolished to make way for Independence Mall – nearly all of the local memory of that area has been wiped out.
So Happy, Happy Birthday Bassett’s Ice Cream and here’s to another 150 years full of prosperity, happy customers and fateful meetings across your fabled marble counters.

Top – Bassett’s Ice Cream stall at the Reading Terminal Market
Bottom – Bassett’s Ice Cream Delivery wagon on Delaware Avenue in 1900

July 12, 2011