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Miss Polly’s Traveling Treats truck. Courtesy photo.




Truckin Treats
Where to find classic and modern ice cream novelties

08/06/15
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



With dozens of local ice cream shops, getting your hands on some regular ice cream is easy. Frozen novelty treats, however, are a bit harder to find. Whether you’re looking for the classic fudgesicles, nutty cones and creamsicles from your childhood days or want to try a more modern novelty, the Hippo can point you in the right direction. 

 
Go old-school 
It may seem like ice cream trucks are obsolete, but there are still several cruising around New Hampshire. Most are only available to rent for events, but there are some that make spontaneous stops around town in the traditional way. 
Paulette Jaques, owner of Miss Polly’s Traveling Treats, said she had always wanted to own some sort of food truck business, so when she saw a 1977 ice cream truck at an auction, she placed a bid and won. Now in its second season, Miss Polly’s offers 35 novelty treats and stays true to the spirit of an old-fashioned ice cream truck. 
“I wanted to keep the original paint and personality of the truck and bring people back to the vintage ages,” Jaques said. “When they hear the music and see me pull up, whether it’s a 2-year-old seeing [an ice cream truck] for the first time or a 70-year-old who hasn’t seen one in forever, their faces are the same.” 
Miss Polly’s truck can be rented out for birthdays, corporate events, weddings and such, or spotted at popular streets, complexes and parks. Jaques tries to make surprise visits around town at least twice a week in Concord, Penacook and occasionally Laconia. 
After trying out a variety of novelty treats, Jaques said the modern ones don’t sell. The highest demand is for the classics: creamsicles, bomb pops, choco tacos, fudge bars, strawberry crunch bars and ice cream sandwiches. The only exception is the character-shaped ice cream bar, depicting whatever character is popular at the moment. Right now, that happens to be Minions. 
Miss Polly’s novelties range in price from $1 to $3. The standard price for some of them is $4 or $5, Jaques said, but she sets her prices low to keep Miss Polly’s family-friendly. 
“I want people to enjoy [the treats] without going, ‘Oh, jeez, the ice cream truck is coming again. I’m going to be broke,’” she said. “Especially if you have more than one kid and you have to buy ice cream for everyone, it can get costly.” 
For many people, it’s the nostalgia factor that draws them to an ice cream truck if they see one. Jaques said she has often witnessed the adults running out of the house to the truck just as fast as the kids do. 
“I just think it brings people back to a simpler time,” she said, “Now, people are on electronics all day, but back then, seeing the ice cream truck and getting a treat was the best part of the day.” 
 
Is ice the new ice cream?
Ice cream novelties aren’t the only treats hitting the streets this summer. Kona Ice, a franchise born in 2007, has its own trucks throughout New Hampshire, serving up iced treats in over 50 flavors. 
But Kona Ice isn’t just any ice-based treat.
“It’s finely shaved iced, like real snow,” said Holly Daigle, franchise owner of Holly’s Kona Ice. “It’s not a snow cone, it’s not a slurpy, it’s not a slushie and it’s not Italian ice. It’s its own unique texture, which allows it to really absorb the flavors we have.” 
The truck has an interactive panel on the side with the top 10 flavors, which allows people to flavor their own and even combine flavors if they wish. Some popular flavors this summer include tiger’s blood (strawberry and coconut), groovy grape, piña colada and blue raspberry. If you want a flavor that isn’t on the panel, just ask. Cups come in $3, $4 and $5 sizes. 
Kona is not only a sales business; it is also a fundraising organization, meaning a part of its profits are given back to the community. The Kona truck is available primarily to rent and doesn’t drive around like an ice cream truck. You can spot it at a sporting event, town park, corporate event, private party, school event or other similar outing. If you aren’t looking to rent and don’t happen to attend an event that features Kona Ice, Holly’s Kona Ice truck can be found almost every day (through October) at Manchester’s Livingston Pool and the Merrimack Premium Outlets. 
“A lot of people seek me out,” Daigle said. “The truck is colorful and interactive, so kids are always excited, but once the adults try it, they decide it’s rather addictive.” 
 
Other places to find them
Grocery and convenience stores usually have a selection of frozen novelties, as do summer snack bars at pools and beaches. For Kona Ice or a larger selection of ice cream novelties, however, you’ll have to track down the trucks. 
“I order products that are specifically for ice cream trucks, so the stores and shops won’t have exactly what I have,” Jaques said. “I get people all the time who say, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t find these anywhere,’and I like hearing that.” 
 
As seen in the August 6, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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