These women are getting paid to drive around and eat ice cream

Rita Giordano, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Lifestyles

PHILADELPHIA — The results of the search for the American Dairy Association North East's first chief ice cream officer are in:

It's a twofer!

Maddie Smith and Mia Svirsky, two friends from Washington, D.C., have won the coveted job of traveling around Pennsylvania, eating lots of ice cream at 18 local creameries and sharing their experiences on social media.

Their mutual love of ice cream was a selling point.

"Every time I go to a new place and when I travel, I love to try a new local ice cream shop," said Smith, 26, whose favorite flavor is peanut butter Oreo.

Svirsky, 28, loves vanilla soft-serve in a cone: "That is like my kryptonite."

But the goal of the dairy association-sponsored road trip of a lifetime is to promote Pennsylvania's many family-owned dairy farms. Both women create content professionally and have large Instagram followings — Smith has more than 180,000 followers with @onthemovewithmad and Svirsky has more than 76,000 followers with @districteats.

The combination was more than the association had hoped for, according to Patrick Carney, vice president for marketing and digital strategy.

"We were looking to bring someone on board who loved ice cream and who enjoys posting on social media for us," Carney said. "Never in a million years did we think two incredibly accomplished content creators would be the ones that would reach out and apply like everyone else."

Smith and Svirsky applied for the ice cream officer post separately, but then the association folks came to realize they were friends. Carney said the association asked them if they would consider doing it together.

"They both were eager to do it," he said. "They thought they actually would enjoy having somebody on the road with them — somebody they already know. Honestly, I couldn't have dreamed of a better scenario than having Maddie and Mia as our ice cream officers."

The trip of about 1,000 miles and many more calories is slated to begin in the Penn State area on June 25 and wrap up about a month later. Along the way, Smith and Svirsky will be visiting Tanner Brothers Dairy in Ivyland, Merrymead Farm in Lansdale, and Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farm in Chester Springs.

Each of the ice cream officers will be paid $5,000 for their services, and their travel, meals, and lodging expenses will be covered by the association. To qualify, they had to be residents of association's service area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, the District of Columbia and parts of Virginia. About 100 people applied for what meant be the sweetest summer job ever.

The dairies are looking forward to their visitors, Carney said.


"We're so excited," he said. "Anything we can do to draw attention to these farmers and businesses is great for us."

Their ice cream officers, meanwhile, already had their game plan.

"I am driving, and the plan is that Mia will be navigating and kind of editing the content while I drive," Smith said. "So we have it all mapped out."

As food influencers, they're looking forward to the experiences that await them.

"We're getting it straight from the source," Svirsky said. "You see the cow, and it's like mom made the ice cream you're licking. I appreciate that it's local, it's not mass produced. You will be able to taste the milk and the dairy and appreciate the actual flavor of what real ice cream should taste like."

Smith also does a lot of work in travel, as well as food.

"Mia and I are also really excited because we're getting to actually stay in Pennsylvania," Smith said. "So in addition to meeting all the dairy farmers and the people who make ice cream, we're going to stay and experience all Pennsylvania has to offer."

But, she added, they're taking it all seriously. To them, this is business.

"I think one thing that people kind of forget is content creation takes a lot of work," Smith said. "The production of the video is really a full-time job."

At least now they don't have to keep it a secret anymore.

Smith's parents can now let loose.

"My boyfriend has been counting down the days," Svirsky said, "so that he can tell everyone because he's just so, so excited."

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