I heard recently of the passing of Irvine Robbins, and wanted to share the news here. He died on May 7, 2008 at the age of 90.
Mr. Robbins opened his first ice cream store in Glendale, California in 1945. In 1948 he joined forces with his brother-in-law, Burton Baskin, to form the Baskin-Robbins ice cream store chain. Mr. Baskin's name came first because he won the coin flip.
Together they came up with that magic number - 31. Customers could always count on Baskin-Robbins to have 31 flavors to choose from. One might call that sweet deal, or otherwise a frozen dilemma.
Personally, I must walk down the whole counter and peruse all 31 choices. Anything less would be un-American. -- Chocolate, mint chocolate chip, strawberry... mmm...! Whatever the choice was, I knew there were 30 more to try next time.
The rest, as they say, is history. Rest in peace, Mr. Robbins.
You can see a picture of him and read his obituary here: Irvine Robbins
I wanted to share a few Baskin-Robbins collectibles that I have. Here's a Pinky the Spoon bendy toy from 1991, and below that is a chocolate mint ice cream pinback button which is probably from the 1980s.
I've always been a fan of their chocolate chip ice cream. As a kid, I also remember enjoying a peppermint flavor with little crunchy bits of peppermint. I think there's an ice cream cone waiting for me now, and I can thank Mr. Robbins for that.