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Ice and Easy

With TV publicity, this treat wasn't hard to sell.

Mashti Malone's Ice Cream shop in Hollywood, California, never advertised--co-owners Mashti and Mehdi Shirvani were happy with word-of-mouth. But when the Food Network got a whiff of their exotic delights, it changed the way the brothers did business.

Mashti, 52, and Mehdi, 38, both raised in Iran, offer the ice cream flavors they grew up with, like rosewater, orange blossom and ginger. Media interest led to an April 2002 Food Network segment, and following their TV appearance, there was no need to persuade--calls came from across the country begging for a taste of their 30-plus aromatic offerings.

Soon, the shop's Web site (www.mashti.com) began shipping orders nationally. Last summer, the Shirvanis opened an ice cream plant in Garden Grove, California, to keep up with demand. With 2003 sales projected at more than $2 million and plans to open more locations in Southern California, the brothers couldn't be happier. "The great thing about America," Mehdi muses, "is if something is good, it is welcome here."

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This article was originally published in the January 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Ice and Easy.

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