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Pennsylvania Ice Cream Company Enters China with Support from EXIM

Bassetts Ice Cream Company
Export Destinations: 
EXIM Bank Product: 
Single-Buyer Export Credit Insurance
Jobs Supported: 


Bassetts Ice Cream Company, founded in 1861, is a full-service frozen dessert distributor to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, dipping parlors, and caterers. Yet, it did not export until 2008 as Bassetts' president was not comfortable selling to customers abroad without getting receivables insurance. Now, with the help of an EXIM Bank's single-buyer export credit insurance policy, exports to China make up 20 percent of the ice cream wholesaler's business.

Bassetts began exporting ice cream to China nearly ten years ago, thanks to EXIM insurance. Its Chinese customer, under normal trade terms, did not have to pay until he took delivery. President Michael Strange, great-great-grandson of the company’s founder Louis Bassett, says he was reluctant to extend the customer credit since the container would be on the ocean for 45 days en route but the bank agreed to insure the credit. EXIM has supported $3 million of Bassetts' exports from 2013 through February 2018.

The 20-employee company is also exploring selling to the Taiwan market, has had conversations with prospects in Vietnam and Japan, and looks forward to exporting to the Bahamas.

“We truly are a small, family-owned business and without EXIM Bank, in all honesty, I don’t know that we’d be enjoying the success we’re having with our export sales. If we didn’t have the comfort of that insurance, for the dollar amounts that we’re shipping, I would not have extended that credit which I suspect would have prevented me from making the kinds of sales that we’re making ... The good news for me is, I’m generating sales I would not otherwise have had if I did not have that export credit insurance in place. Our business is growing because of exports. This has helped us maintain jobs, and I have no doubt we will add jobs in the future. Already one of our suppliers in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which produces our super-premium ice cream according to our recipe, has added staff to its production operation."
Michael Strange, President