The company had been started in the 1940s by one Sam Dvorchik and was owned by Sid Glow when Earl went to work for it. In 1959, Glow, father of Brian Glow,let Barish know that he wanted to sell his eight bikes. The opportunity was daunting for a teenager, but Barish convinced his father that the business had potential and the Barish family became the new owner of Dickie Dee.
It was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1959 by the Barish family and grew to be one of the largest ice cream vending companies in North America. At its peak, Dickie Dee had approximately 1500 operators across Canada and in the Northern United States. Ice cream products were sold out of a fiberglass compartment on a modified tricycle. Dickie Dee also had a Fleet of ice cream trucks that operated in areas with hills that could not be serviced using the bicycles.
The bicycles were equipped with bells which the operator rang to alert children to his presence.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s Dickie Dee promoted products at gas stations and retail outlets in freezers called "Bubble Cabinets". The Bubble Cabinets were chest-style display freezers with a clear plastic dome shaped lid, which allowed seeing the various products.
Dickie Dee maintained a network of distributors to operate its equipment. Distributors leased the equipment and purchased the products from designated company suppliers. Small distributorships were turnkey operations that could be run from a family garage while larger centres had warehouses and yards.
In 1992 Dickie Dee was sold to Unilever and became a division of Good Humor-Breyers. Good Humor-Breyers maintained the Dickie Dee Brand and Program until 2002. Today much of the remaining equipment is privately owned by former distributors who are still selling ice cream products as independent operators under a variety of names.
- One man’s business journey: Dickie Dee, Pop Rocks, restaurants The Globe and Mail