The ChillMobile on 10 Tampa Bay
While most businesses struggle during the pandemic, old-fashioned ice cream trucks are thriving
“The Chill Mobile has been a lifesaver financially and also psychically.”
by: By Lia Fernandez, WSTP 10 Tampa Bay — 5/29/2020 at 1:45 PM
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Tammy Hauser says business has been moving with this ice cream truck. But, if you knew Hauser a few months ago, you wouldn’t have found her serving ice cream.
She runs Discover Sarasota Trolley Tours. She opened the business in 2018 in downtown Sarasota. For her, business was going great.
“We were running about 12 to 14 different trolley tours every week,” Hauser said. “They were sold out! We had waiting lists for January, February, and March.”
But then the coronavirus happened, and the governor shut down the state. In turn, that shut her down.
Hauser was just seeing the end of paying back her startup costs for Discover Sarasota. And because of the nature of work, she didn’t qualify for the loan programs for businesses.
“All of the programs that were offered for business funding, we don’t qualify because they all begin with a premise of two or more employees and I have independent contractors as tour guides,” Hauser said.
With trolley tours sold out, but not tour to go on, Hauser had to go out and find another way to make money in order to refund thousands of dollars in pre-booked tickets.
While browsing Facebook Marketplace she stumbled upon an opportunity to make some money. It was an old fashion ice cream truck.
“It’s a vintage 1979 Good Humor truck,” Hauser said.
“I never ever expected that two weeks later that that would be my full-time job driving the ice cream truck and meeting the level of demand that just in March I was doing with tours, now I was doing with the ice cream truck,” she said.