Contemplating Custard Cup candidate

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Contemplating Custard Cup candidate

By Camron Owens

As the days get longer and the temperatures begin to rise, a cherished annual event is soon approaching: Local custard store Jarling’s Custard Cup will open its doors for the summer season. To many central Illinoisans, summer has not officially begun until they’ve taken their first bite of delicious Custard Cup ice cream or custard.

Last week, however, owners Doug and Christy Jarling made news when they announced the company will go up for sale next year, causing many custard aficionados to wonder about the future of the Custard Cup. 

This may seem like a very local issue. However, following this news, Academy Award winning actor and Carly Rae Jepsen music video star Tom Hanks actually tweeted about the news saying “Champaign, IL! Jarling’s Custard Cup 4 Sale! Doug and Christy are selling! The recipe alone is worth $$$$$$! Get one now! Beyond delicious! Hanx.”

This sparked numerous tweets from Custard Cup fans urging Mr. Hanks to buy the custard shop himself. I’m sure many of these tweets were just fun and spur of the moment, but after a great deal of thought and deep analysis, I’ve concluded that Tom Hanks is the perfect person to take over Custard Cup.

Owner Christy Jarling told The News-Gazette, “We’re hoping we can find a decent group of individuals, or an organization that can proceed forward.” 

I ask, who is a more qualified and “decent” individual than Tom Hanks? As an actor, he’s won numerous awards for his performances, but as a person, he’s won our nation’s trust. According to a poll conducted by Reader’s Digest, Tom Hanks was voted No. 1 on the list of “The 100 Most Trusted People In America.” 

Of all the doctors, therapists, religious figures and scientists in this country, the American people have spoken and we know that our secrets, money and custard shops would be safe in the hands of Forrest Gump himself.

Obviously, celebrities owning restaurants or food venues can be very hit or miss. For every successful “Wahlburgers” there’s a “Flavor Flav’s Chicken & Ribs,” but I believe that creamy delights and Tom Hanks go together like Turner and Hooch. 

For example, in his breakthrough role as Forrest Gump in the 1994 film, there is a scene where Forrest ends up in the hospital after being shot in the buttocks. While in the hospital, he claims to have been given “all of the ice cream he can eat.” He even extends a cone to his friend Lieutenant Dan. This scene is definitely a precursor to this very moment in Custard Cup history.

Or perhaps you remember “A League of Their Own” where he reminds us “There’s no crying in baseball.” Hanks had to gain 30 pounds for the role and cited a nearby ice cream shop as the secret to his weight gain. Ice cream and frozen goods are clearly a significant part of his career. 

It’s easy to just think of Hanks as the star of such beloved films as “The Green Mile,” “Toy Story” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” but we must also remember that he’s shown impressive business skills as of late. Last Wednesday, Hanks was spotted helping a local Girl Scout troop sell cookies in Los Altos, California. The actor bought cookies and took pictures with people as long as they purchased cookies themselves. 

As you can see, we should “cast away” the idea that Tom Hanks could not run Custard Cup successfully. I know that he is a man of many talents and interests, so he might need a little further convincing. After all, who am I to tell the man who won Meg Ryan’s heart in four different movies what to do? However, I think his ownership would be beneficial to his already impressive career.

New ownership often comes with some changes, and I think the Champaign-Urbana community would be open to any changes Hanks might make. There is already a chain of restaurants based on one of his films (shout-out to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company); this would be the perfect opportunity to start another — “The Da Vinci Cone.” 

At this time, Hanks has yet to follow up his tweet with any additional social media posts or press conferences, but hopefully he will at least consider the idea. We already have Tom’s brother at the University, who students seem to enjoy. Adding another Hanks to the area would be exciting.

It might be far-fetched, but then again, life is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get.

Camron is a junior in LAS.

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