chillieMy recent story about Chillie Bears, Charleston’s classic frozen summertime treat, prompted readers of The Post and Courier to reminisce about buying (and selling) the icy cups. Since there’s not much in the way of a written record when it comes to Chillie Bears, their memories significantly enhance what’s known about the early history of the snack – including its demographic and geographic reach:

Growing up on Rutledge Avenue in the 1940s, we bought Chilly Bears, two for a nickel, at the Coastal Ice Cream Parlor on Rutledge near Spring Street. The small cup was decorated with polar bears and we warmed it between our hands, flipped it, and enjoyed. --  Sandra Lee Kahn Rosenblum As a child, I would (buy) chilly bears from The Candy Kitchen on lower King Street, probably in the area between Queen and Clifford Streets. An older gentleman, surely an immigrant as I remember a foreign accent, ran the place making a variety of homemade candies as well as the loved chilly bears. It was a sad day as a child when I went to purchase one and was informed by his Americanized son that the older gentleman had passed away – and the Candy Kitchen with him.  I went on to make them myself and sell them, instead of the traditional lemonade, on the street in front of my home on Church street. – Jack Simmons I am a native Charlestonian of quite a few years, and I well remember the countless Chilly Bears I enjoyed as a young child. As a grade school kid and with friends at Sacred Heart School, and with cousins and friends at James Simmons School, we walked home those days to what was called the "Northwest Section,” and we always passed the Coastal Ice Cream shop. We went in whenever we had a nickel and bought our Chilly Bears -- they were five cents, in a paper 3-oz cup, and flavors of all kinds. We went any time we could scare up a nickel, not just on our trek from school. -- Miriam DeAntonio I grew up on Johns Island in Cedar Springs, a subdivision that started up in the late 1950s. There was a lady that always had chilly bears, but I remember them in small waxed paper cups.  That is a fond memory of childhood summers. – Janice Elkins