The Difference Between a State-Owned and a Private Ice Cream Shop

Miguel Arias Sanchez

HAVANA TIMES — Our country is experiencing an intense and suffocating summer. That’s why, the vast majority of Cubans, to not be absolute, are fans of ice cream; they go alone or with their families to Coppelia and other ice cream parlors to enjoy this sweet pleasure. In the capital, there are many places which offer this service.

After the reforms process and the Cuban government’s authorization of new kinds of small businesses, private businesses popped up in many different sectors, among them, ice cream shops.

When the State builds, renovates and opens up a new store to sell, in this case ice cream, we can see that everything starts off well: the place is aesthetically pleasing, there is a wide variety of flavors, employees in uniform and excellent customer service. The same thing happens when a private owners sets up and opens up their own ice cream parlor. So then what happens?

Of course, we begin to go to the state-owned parlor because their prices are more affordable to the Cuban pocket.

However, as days pass by, we begin to see how the ice cream begins to sell out earlier in the day, it isn’t open the times it should be, there are flavors missing, the service provided by employees isn’t the same as before and finally: or there isn’t any ice cream or the quantity they expected to receive didn’t arrive or there’s only one flavor… until it completely ceases to be what it once was when it was opened.

The private ice cream parlor, however, remains how it was from the very first day, they might have started off better than state-owned ones or not but this difference of consistency is very important.

The State places managers to take charge of their stores, who earn a low salary and their concern is about how they can increase it, so there is no interest and responsibility on their part like there should be and there aren’t enough controls either.

It’s become common to see ice cream tubs selling in great quantities out the back or the side door of the parlor, thereby affecting the good service and quality of the ice cream parlor. At the end of the day, the customer chooses to go to the private-owned one, because even though it is much more expensive, there they find what they can’t at the government-run one.

According to what our government leaders have said on many occasions, we have to take the positive, the good, from capitalism.

Well, they could take, for example, efficient control and responsibility for product quality and service to heart as the customers deserves to be received in the best way possible. If this manages to happen one day in this country, there won’t be much difference between one ice cream parlor and the other. Wherever a Cuban citizen goes, depending on their means, they will feel good and satisfied with their visit.

Miguel Arias

Miguel Arias Sánchez: I was born in Regla in 1949. That’s where I went to elementary and high school. Afterwards I took courses to be a teacher and did that for several years. I did my military service and as soon as I got out I studied formally to be a teacher graduating at the University of Havana. I taught in classrooms for nearly 20 years. I had the opportunity to travel and see another reality. I returned and am currently doing different self-employed activities.

3 thoughts on “The Difference Between a State-Owned and a Private Ice Cream Shop

  • Make certain that the water used in producing the ice cream has been boiled before use.

  • can you give addresses of some private ice-cream parlours in Havana?

  • Your post makes sense to me Miguel. I’m a big fan of private enterprise as the service and quality of products excel in comparison to government run venues. Another example of that is what I’m witnessing in Chicago. A few years back, city employees were responsible for plants and tree maintenance. The result was dying trees and lawns surrounding city parks and streets. Today, it’s been farmed out to private gardeners and Chicago has now one of the finest landscaped areas in the US. Another area is the US post office vs. FedEx and UPS. No comparisons whatsoever.

Comments are closed.