Ever since he drove a Good Humor truck to pay his way through college, ice cream has meant many things to Dan Schorr: hard work, freedom, friendship, fun. Now, after treatment at Dana-Farber for an aggressive form of lymphoma, he has added another – gratitude.
Schorr is founder of Vice Cream, which in June served more than 1,000 gallons of ice cream at the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl®, presented by Valvoline Instant Oil Change.SM The all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, held annually at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, expanded for its 35th year to include Scooper Bowl New York in Manhattan’s Bryant Park, jointly raising more than $750,000 for research and patient care at Dana-Farber. Vice Cream, like all the ice cream partners involved, donated 100 percent of its product, labor, and time – and was one of several that participated in both Boston and New York.
For Schorr, taking part in this sweet harbinger of summer was in keeping with the new attitude he has adopted since his April 2014 diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. After completing treatment, he decided to occasionally supplement his healthy eating with rich, delicious ice cream.
“Cancer didn’t care if I never smoked and could run a 4:17 mile,” says Schorr, who competed in triathlons before his diagnosis. “So, when I got diagnosed, I decided I wasn’t going to just live life anymore; I was going to indulge in it.”
True to his word, and with experience in the food industry, Schorr started Vice Cream in 2016. The company offers eight decadent flavors like “Higher Grounds” (dark roast coffee ice cream with mocha fudge swirls, crunchy chocolate cookie crumbles, and sweet espresso) and “Afternoon Delight” (vanilla with chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough, salted caramel truffles, and thick swirls of chocolate fudge and caramel).
“Our motto is ‘Live Life, Dig In.’ because you never know what’s going to come,” says Schorr, who spent one June afternoon dishing out free samples to staff and patient families at Dana-Farber. “It’s really important to us that we help bring joy to people who can use it, especially cancer patients, their families, and the doctors, nurses, and organizations that care for them.”
He speaks from experience. Among those stopping by for a taste and a hug during Schorr’s Dana-Farber visit were several nurses whose questions quickly veered from “What’s in that?” to “How are you and you and your family doing?” They had cared for Schorr when he was a patient.
Officially in remission since August 2016. Schorr is happy these days to focus on helping make things sweeter – even if just momentarily – for those who are not there yet. The company’s mantra is to “take our business and our ice cream seriously, but never ourselves,” which can further be defined by the creed that graces his company’s website.
“Life’s short. Eat Freaking Ice Cream.”