Enterprise- Ice Cream

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COLUMBIA - When it's hot outside, what do you reach for to cool off with? For Mid-Missourians, it seems to be a cone or a bowl of ice cream. After all, July is National Ice Cream Month.

With triple-digit heat scorching Missouri, local ice cream shops have seen steady business stream through their doors.

"Usually at night, a lot more people come in. On warmer nights, it makes sense to get ice cream," said Marian Nguyen, employee at Columbia's Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream.

Jelsey Minnick, of Buck's Ice Cream Place, says they have been going through 6 gallons of their most popular flavor, Tiger Stripe, per day in the past few weeks.

Ice cream sales are up nationally as well. According to the International Dairy Foods Association in 2011, sales of ice cream topped 25.1 billion dollars, a 2.4% increase from 2010. That's a lot of quarts and cones.

Americans consumed about 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and frozen novelties in 2011.

So what's behind the creamy treat's popularity?

"It's back to your childhood. It makes you feel like a kid again and you can pick out what flavor you want...it's just really good," said Minnick.