Ice cream trucks are so 1983. Today's kids need interactive entertainment, especially if you want to hold their attention for more than 30 seconds. Enter Kona Ice, a tropical, tiki-themed shaved ice truck that's now rolling around the streets of Miami.
Shaved ice, for the sadly uninformed, is like a snow cone but about a billion times better. Basically, the ice is shaved into a soft, snow-like consistency that encourages absorption of flavored syrups.
The traditional Hawaiian dessert fave beats out pre-packaged ice cream bars any day.
The story behind this colorful line of carts is pretty amusing. One day, founder Tony Lamb's daughter was totally creeped out by the pierced, tattooed dude driving the ice cream truck in her neighborhood. So Lamb dreamed up a kid-friendly, colorful truck concept that was more Jimmy Buffett than Sons of Anarchy.
Now, one of the trucks has made its way to the Magic City.
"Kids simply go bananas for their Kona Ice cups. It starts with the fun factor. We have an incredible truck," says Diego Serrano, the operator for Kona Ice of East Miami. "The truck brings an amusement park energy wherever it stops."
This means calypso music, an interactive flavor dispenser, bright colors, and a tiki top. It's not your average ice cream truck, for sure.
"On top of that, we love giving back to the community," Serrano adds. In the company's tradition, that means they'll be pledging roughly 20 to 30% of proceeds to local school groups, teams, and community organizations.
As far as territory, they'll be cruising from east Miami to Brickell to South Miami. And they do fairs, church events, sports tournaments, corporate shindigs, private parties, school fundraisers, and any other soiree you can think of.
And, most importantly, they have a cornucopia of flavor options, including strawberry, watermelon, orange, grape, cherry, tigers blood, piña colada, root beer, bubble gum, peach, and pickle. (Yes, pickle).
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They also have sugar-free options, vitamin-enhanced flavorings, and dye-free varieties -- and all of their treats are gluten- and dairy-free. So even allergy-ridden kiddos should be good to go.
Check out their website for more into on how to bring the tiki-truck your way.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.