I was appalled at Daniel Foley’s commentary about Petersen’s Ice Cream and the Wednesday Journal’s prominent placement of his viewpoint. It was especially puzzling that this commentary was given such prominence due to the author’s own admission, “I have personally not dined there for some time.”
My family, friends, and I have dined at Petersen’s recently. Petersen’s has been a part of our family life for over 19 years. That’s about how long we’ve lived in Oak Park. Never once in that entire time were we treated rudely. Never once were we not served a quality product. The food has always been fresh, homemade and served so the eye could appreciate the meal as much as the palate. Frankly, I never noticed it to be unclean. The place may be in need of some repair work, but it’s hard to spend what you don’t have. Have we grown so opulent that we can’t understand that?
There are so many blatant things wrong with the logic behind Mr.Foley’s commentary it’s hard to know where to start. If I understand Mr. Foley correctly, all businesses that are not #1 or #2 in their current marketplace should not exist. Hmmm, that would put quite a dent in the number of choices consumers have, create a ripe environment for monopolies, and cause an upward spiral of joblessness and homelessness across the country.
Mr. Foley also points to franchise chain brand competitors in comparison to a Mom-and-Pop, individually-owned establishment. It’s not that cut and dried.
The fact that this restaurant now serves alcoholic drinks, as most other restaurants in Oak Park do with dinner, I imagine would prove a marketing asset in some people’s opinion.
It makes Mr. Foley mad that Petersen’s has been failing for quite some time “because running that business never seemed terribly difficult.” This makes one wonder where his expertise on the matter came from.
It will be a shame that we may not see Petersen’s supporting our Children’s Museum, schools and community organizations, as it has in the past. It will also be sad if some teenage boys (like Mr. Foley) won’t get the chance to learn a little about business in their first jobs, behind the counter, at the Petersen Ice Cream Shop and Restaurant.
My family was one those families who waited in line over the years on hot summer days for ice cream. On cold winter days the smell and taste of a delectable hot chocolate with lunch will be sorely missed if Petersen’s goes. I apologize for not visiting more. I know my family, friends and community will sorely miss this establishment.