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Kale for the body, ‘Vice Cream’ for the spirit

Dan Schorr, founder of Vice Cream.

After building a successful career in the consumer foods industry, Dan Schorr launched Boston-based Vice Cream in 2016 to claim a share of the ice cream market by appealing to the millennial generation.

Just months later, however, the Needham resident received a shocking diagnosis. He had an aggressive form of lymphoma, and faced an estimated 12 weeks to live without treatment.

“I had three immediate reactions,” Schorr recalled. “First, I was stunned because I had been healthy and athletic all my life, and I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Second, I became very angry and wanted to blame someone. Finally, I felt at peace, like I was chosen for a reason.”

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He adopted the mantra “humor with tumor” and began writing a blog “because if I was going to die, I was going to do it living life and smiling all the way.” Schorr, who was declared cancer-free in August 2016, has also channeled his trademark positive energy into his steadily growing ice cream business.

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Available at more than 3,000 grocery stores searchable at eatvicecream.com, Vice Cream comes in eight playfully named flavors: Minted, Toffee Wife, L’Orange a Trois, Afternoon Delight, Higher Grounds, Bourbon Mash, Choc of Shame, and Breakfast in Bed.

Schorr clarifies that Vice Cream is “real” ice cream, brimming with all-natural, high-quality ingredients – but also unapologetically indulgent. After all, its tagline is “Live life. Dig in.”

“Eating kale is good for your body,” he added. “Vice Cream is for your spirit.”

Schorr, who remains grateful for the care he received at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, gives back through his Nice Vice program which supports cancer patients and the medical staffs and organizations that care for them. At speaking events, he shares his personal story of fighting and surviving while encouraging others to do the same – regardless of how grim the outlook may seem.

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“My mission is to build a national brand that makes people smile,” he said. “The cancer community is a club I never intended to join, but it keeps me going.”

Cindy Cantrell can be reached at cindycantrell20@gmail.com.