Ice Cream Trucks: Then and Now
In April, we took Scoop 1 out for a few visits. The weather didn't exactly cooperate with us. Save for a few peeks of sunshine, it was cold, rainy, and cloudy. But we had fun. We appreciated everyone who came to visit, who sometimes stood in a brisk wind for their cones or pints, and who still smiled and laughed and made our day.
Now our second truck, Scoop 2, has been inspected and approved for the road. We will be taking it out this weekend AND we have the best ice cream weather forecast we could ask for - sunny and 80 degrees.
We admit, we're feeling a little sentimental about this. So we thought we'd bring you all along for a little trip down memory lane.
Two years ago, there was no truck. There was Kyle, Caitlin (our intern at the time), and a few other people hauling around some iced-up coolers full of ice cream, visiting bank parking lots and giving away free scoops. We were brand-new to ice cream, and so were you.
Fast-forward one year. We learned A LOT about making ice cream. With your help and feedback, we established and finalized our recipes. And Kyle began what turned out to be a quick hunt for the perfect ice cream delivery method: a truck.
With a lot of unexpected time on our hands, we got the truck, got it wrapped, bought some freezers, and made a bunch of ice cream. This one truck had quite a few "makeshift" or "self-engineered" or (maybe our favorite description of it) "designed by Kyle" aspects to it.
Our menu board was a piece of cut metal with laminated flavor names adhered by velcro.
Our generator limped along for about six weeks until it finally gave up, and Kyle ratchet strapped a plucky little generator to the back of the truck that just BARELY kept up with all the freezers. We occasionally were blessed with air conditioning, but it was not often that we could squeeze enough juice out of the generator to get cold air through the truck.
We established a fun routine of jumping the truck, as the batteries often drained overnight. It was a good life lesson for me and other employees, as jumping a vehicle was not a skill I had before last summer.
Last summer, we had only 12 flavors, no merchandise, and only a few staff members available to work the truck, so we had to run a more limited schedule. But we had a ball, you guys. There's just something about the ice cream truck - the laughs, the fun, the happy families. We were without air conditioning, but we had no shortage of smiles.
This summer, the biggest change has been the addition of a second truck, Scoop 2. It's the same truck as the first, wrapped similarly and outfitted the same.
This major change foreshadowed a lot of others. Caitlin came back, now as our scoops coordinator, and we all got our act together pretty quickly in preparation of a full ice cream season ahead.
We have a new amazing menu board designed by Caitlin and Kyle, with magnets instead of laminated cards and, most importantly, photos of our ice cream for you to see as you order! This new menu board is permanently attached to the trucks, which is awesome we will never forget it at the farm by accident (something that has never happened...ever).
Probably the best thing for our staff has been the new generators that don't generate as much heat, are much quieter, and - most importantly - do not fall off the back of the truck or require any cranking. Both trucks have also had a top-to-bottom inspections and new tires, so hopefully we won't be jumping them so much this summer.
Inside the truck, we've added super fun t-shirts and cooler bags AND new flavors in addition to our 12 regular ones. This past month we've enjoyed Peanut Butter Cup and next up is Blueberry Cheesecake!
We also have new freezers in Scoop 2 that don't require constant electricity, which eases up on the generator load and makes it possible for us to finally run the A/C on those hot, hot days. The new dipping cabinet freezer will also keep the ice cream at a more consistent temperature, making it easier for our staff to scoop and easier for you to eat!
Also debuting this year are our new fun pint containers that are a major upgrade from the basic white ones. Plus they have ice cream ingredients on them (a new requirement from the state), and we also have that information at the trucks for you if needed!
With all these changes, our heads have been spinning, but we - and now almost 40 of our amazing scooping staff - are looking forward to a super fun ice cream season ahead. We are thankful for all the updates to the trucks, and are hoping that you enjoy them as much as we do, especially those new flavors!
Monthly Round-Up: March!
After traveling 2,500 miles all throughout the South for the annual corn party (more on this after I've gone through some pretty epic video footage...), we had exactly one day to relax, unpack, and get ready for the busy month ahead.
The first thing we did was make ice cream. With our trucks scheduled to go out the first of April and a VERY empty freezer, we scrambled to get flavors ready for the upcoming season. Luckily, a few of our employees - plus a few newbies - pitched in to help us get ahead. Within a couple weeks we were ready to start the season - soon all your favorite flavors will be traveling right to you!
A funny thing about making ice cream. On St. Patrick's Day, we posted a Boomerang video of us making our green mint cookie ice cream. A week later, we noticed something. This little 10-second video has now been viewed by 826 thousand people, most of them in India. Why that's happened, we don't know. But this little video sure went places!
We also made a lot of fun new updates to both Scoop 1 and 2, which you can check out in our next blog! We're talking all things old and new about our trucks, including our brand-new pint containers!
Continuing with all things ice cream, we invited all our current and new employees to attend our very first ice cream orientation. We did a little scooping, a little customer service training, and a little driving practice. We had a great time showing all our new employees around and getting them ready for their first season in the Scoops!
We had two very special applicants join us for training. They over-scooped a bit and they definitely can't drive the truck, but they sure did make us laugh.
The month ended with our Easter celebrations. We had to do quite the cleaning in the barn, as Kyle had moved all his tools, both the ice cream trucks, and a few other random "fix-its" in over the winter, but we were so happy to welcome you all to the farm. Thank you for celebrating Easter with us. We hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday.
View our Easter video on the blog or on YouTube! Love and donuts from all of us at the farm.
In our farm family, we have all sorts of Easter traditions. Some of them date way back, to our grandmothers and grandfathers. Some of them have a shorter history, but that doesn't make them any less meaningful. One of those new traditions is our Easter Bunny Breakfast, which we started only five years ago.
It's a time to be grateful, and grateful we are. Thank you for being with us. For including us in your family traditions. For supporting us. For sharing your laughs, your kindness, your smiles. We are grateful to have spent Easter with you. Happy spring.
Love and donuts,
The Vesperman Farms family
Fun on the farm...in blog form!