Ice Cream has always been good business

Phyliss Hart talks about how her father, Hedley Hart brought ice cream to his drug store in 1934 to bring people into the business. The video “The Five Cent Article” is from the series 100 Stories for 100 Years produced by Barry Thorson.

Hedley Hart purchased the drugstore from Dr. Waite who often closed the business when he had calls in the country. While business in Cochrane was better than in Gadsby, AB it wasn’t enough to support a family.

One day, Max Thibodeau, with Union Milk and Crystal Diary in Calgary came in to sell an ice cream machine and everything to go with it. Thibodeau must have been quite the salesman or visionary to sell $1500.00 of equipment when ice cream sold for just .05 cents.

It didn’t take long before the name was established and Hedley was staying up until 2 AM to keep up with the ice cream demand. He purchased a couple of new machines to help out. It wasn’t long before it became a Sunday pastime for Calgarians to drive to Cochrane for a Hart’s ice cream cone or a thick shake.

The store was an agent for Brewster, later Greyhound Bus Lines. Bus drivers would buy ice cream and it wasn’t long before passengers did the same.  At the time, Cochrane was on the Trans Canada and ran right through Cochrane. It wasn’t until years later that the Trans Canada Highway was routed miles south.

In 1956, Hedley Hart sold the drugstore and ice cream business to Bob and Alice Graham.  Hedley Hart, then 70 retired with family to Calgary. A year later, the Trans Canada Highway was developed south of Cochrane and the Grahams decided to sell the ice cream business to Jimmy MacKay. 

from files supplied by Phyllis Hart

Photo accompanying video, presumably of the drug store

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