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Friendly’s Ice Cream cofounder Curtis L. Blake dies at 102

Prestley and Curtis Blake stand in front of the first Friendly’s location in this undated photo.Courtesy of Friendly’s

Curtis L. Blake and his brother S. Prestley Blake made a careful business decision when they opened an ice cream business in Springfield one hot summer evening in 1935 — a single storefront that grew into the Friendly’s ice cream and restaurant chain.

Their competitors charged a dime for two scoops. The Blakes only charged a nickel. “Our customers didn’t have any money and neither did we,’’ Curtis Blake told the Springfield Republican in 2017.

The line of customers stretched into the night and they made nearly $27.60 before closing — an impressive sum during the Great Depression.