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Bev's Ready to Fend Off Ben & Jerry's 

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Bev Mazursky isn't running scared. She'll put up her espresso Oreo ice cream against any one-two punch of Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey. After all, she's done it before — and won.

A Ben & Jerry's ice cream franchise is returning to Carytown this summer, to the same block where Bev's Ice Cream has drawn a standing-room-only crowd for 10 years, a source close to the deal says.

Mazursky, however, is unruffled: "You know what? I don't care. Everyone loves our ice cream. In 1998 we opened, and then they opened in the next block, and before we knew it, they went bye-bye, and here we are, better than ever."

She's particularly proud of a recent redecoration that makes room for more customers, and she professes to ignore the threat of a nationally known competitor moving in during her busiest season.

Ben & Jerry's will replace the Richmond Coin Laundry at 2901 W. Cary St., the source says, in a building owned by Dr. Harry Ellen and his wife, Fiona. The laundry is being reconfigured to accommodate the new ice cream shop and is expected to be ready for business by summer, bringing another national franchise to Carytown's fiercely independent retail community.

This will be Ben & Jerry's 20th store in Virginia, and the company is looking for franchisees in at least two other markets, including the possibility of a Short Pump store, real estate sources say. Their "caring capitalism" campaign and their product line are now in 22 countries and growing. S

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