Local ice cream identities reminisced about the old days at Marine Parade's Lick This ice cream parlour yesterday.

One of Hawke's Bay's most endearing brands of ice cream was Blue Moon.

The business was sold to Bruce Hastie in 1957.

Bruce was able to meet customers who had sold the Blue Moon ice creams - Jim Prince and Tom Hillis - the first such meeting in several years.

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Lick This owner Steve Manning said he had been planning the reunion for the past six months.

"It was a bit of a surprise for Bruce really to reminisce about ice cream and the old days. They enjoyed catching up and I think when they talked they started to remember things that they had forgotten."

After sharing ice creams, they looked at Mr Manning's signage and scoop collection and Mr Price's old photos of his shop.

"We had a bit of a laugh. Unfortunately Sunday is our busiest day of the week and I would have loved to have sat and chatted longer with them but it was a bit of a struggle because it was so busy."

"Ice cream brings back a lot of memories for people and creates a lot of friendships and it bonds families together. We get a lot of young people coming here for ice cream and they build friendships and talk about things because it is happy thing to do."

As he was talking, he saw a little boy looking up at his grandfather with a face covered with ice cream. It is those sort of memories he loves facilitating.

He noted that in the '50s and '60s, there were more independent small ice cream manufacturers like himself, but as the years have gone by larger companies like Tip Top have "wiped them out".

"Rush Munro's is an unusual one because it has survived. It is unusual to have an owner-operator like us making ice cream."

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Bruce Hastie, of Blue Moon ice cream, was interested in the New Zealand ice cream industry beyond his company. In 1984 he was president of New Zealand Independent Ice Cream Manufacturers and vice-president of New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers.

That year Bruce received and accepted an approach from Devon Dairy Products in Tauranga to purchase the business.

The Havelock North factory would service the lower North Island and Devon's Tauranga base the upper North Island.

It was thought to be a wise move for the business by Bruce, and he sold, but Devon's new venture was over within a year and the Blue Moon brand consequently disappeared.

Mr Hastie said he enjoyed the occasion and was pleasantly surprised upon seeing his customers from years ago.

"We shared different incidents that happened over time, which was quite nice."