Mobile treats venture to SuperiorA family-run ice cream business has been offering mobile treats in Duluth since 2008. Last week, it made its first trip to Superior.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Cheerful music drifted by Hammond Park, teasing young thespians as they put on their first show.
“Ice cream?” asked Something Superior members 16-year-old Dylan Forte and Carter Mingus, 15, as they scanned the area.
A blast from the past drove into view: a blue and white ice cream truck. The teens rushed to the truck, and they weren’t alone. Kids from the park and neighborhood flocked to the truck emblazoned with The King of Creams.
The family-run ice cream business has been offering mobile treats in Duluth since 2008. Last week, it made its first trip to Superior. The response, said owner Courtland Powe, was fantastic.
“We didn’t know what to expect or how much ground we could cover, but it turned out that this route took us around nine and a half hours to complete,” Powe said in an e-mail response. “Which is great, because it meant we were stopped a lot, and the people of Superior responded like we hoped they would.”
The ice cream truck will travel through central Superior every Tuesday, beginning about 11:30 a.m. in Billings Park and ending at Weeks Avenue near the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus. The mobile eatery offers customers a choice of 20 novelty ice cream bars and popsicles as well as hand-dipped ice cream in regular and waffle cones.
“We will also be putting root beer floats, sundaes and our signature old-fashioned malts back on the menu soon,” Powe said.
He and his wife, Rebecca, ran their first route in Duluth’s Central Hillside area on a 41-degree day in the spring of 2008. Two years ago, they bought and stocked a mobile trailer to serve food and ice cream at events throughout the area so the truck routes wouldn’t be affected. The Superior City Council approved a direct seller license for the business June 18. Less than a week later, The King of Creams made its maiden voyage into the city.
It is truly a family business. The couple’s six children, ranging in age from 2 to 20, serve as taste testers for new products. Some even help with sales. Last week, Powe’s son was handing out frosty treats at Hammond Park.
“They are a big part of the business and are learning valuable life skills by being a part of it,” Powe said.
The dream of starting an ice cream business began when Powe moved back to the Duluth area 12 years ago.
“I asked myself: ‘Where is the ice cream truck?’ ” he said. “Having small children, I wanted them to be able to experience the excitement of hearing that music coming down the street.”
An eBay opportunity came along and the rest, Powe said, is history.
Response to the throwback business has been very positive.
“I didn’t know ice cream trucks still existed,” wrote Erin Aili on The King of Creams Facebook page.
“Where are you now? Looking for some ice cream fun!” wrote another visitor, Bruce and Pam Toland.
Ice cream trucks may be an icon from the past, but this one uses up-to-date GPS technology to let customers know its whereabouts. Along with a route schedule, a GPS map pinpoints exactly where the truck is on the website.
While the family hopes to expand to a brick and mortar store in the near future, Powe said he enjoys bringing some old-fashioned fun to the area.
“It gets people out of the house and engaged in something that creates neighborhood unity,” he said. “It gives people something to look forward to.”