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God bless Friendly’s

Date: 11/4/2011

October 31, 2011

In response to an Oct. 17 letter to the editor that expressed the author’s personal opinion about Friendly’s, among other things, right to “make money” bankruptcy filing, and ice cream ingredients, here’s my take.

Yes, it’s true, Friendly’s is structured as a for-profit corporation, so I’m saddened to hear the author’s personal disdain for this company’s right to “make money.” I thought we still live in a capitalist society, no?

Yes, it’s true, Friendly’s did recently file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Chapter 11 reorganizations are sought by hundreds of businesses, small and large, each day in this country. Just go ask General Motors. I feel very optimistic about Friendly’s future. Why? If one Googles and reads their bankruptcy petition, you will find that all four of Friendly’s business segments turned an operating profit through the first eight months of 2011. So why file for reorganization? My guess is to finally address a long-term debt thorn that’s been hanging around for more than 20 years when the company was purchased in a highly leveraged buyout.

While I respect the author’s personal choice to live a so called “healthier” all natural food life, I’ve always loved Friendly’s scrumptious offerings, including their delicious ice cream and sundaes. I took my youngest daughter to the Longmeadow restaurant on a recent school half-day and it was great to see the place packed with kids, families and senior citizens! Yes, I’ve “read the ingredients” and so what? My mother is 86 years old and has been enjoying Friendly’s ice cream all her life. God bless her! Friendly founders Pres and Curt Blake are each well into their 90s! God bless them, must have been the ice cream!

Ken Tobias, Longmeadow

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