Kona Ice Delivers Cold Summer Treat
If you have not seen the Kona Ice truck traveling around town, then you’re in for a sweet treat. The brightly-colored, Hawaiian-style truck that plays cool, Caribbean music such as “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is owned by Chris O’Kieffe, an Edgewater resident whose daytime job is driving around the area selling sugary shaved ices.
O’Kieffe started his Kona Ice business in September 2008 when he and his wife relocated to Edgewater from California. At the time, O’Kieffe was looking for a new career that offered flexibility so that he could stay home with their daughter.
O’Kieffe researched a few different franchises and came across Kona Ice. O’Kieffe traveled to the company’s headquarters in Kentucky and immediately recognized the potential.
“It was pretty obvious to me that Kona Ice was a great company,” said O’Kieffe. “Talking to other owners, it became clear that the company was growing rapidly because of its terrific product offering.”
O’Kieffe got his Kona Ice truck in June 2011. Initially, he worked the neighborhoods, selling Kona Ice to moms, dads and kids. From there, O’Kieffe signed up for county fairs and other special and ongoing events.
Overtime, O’Kieffe secured accounts with the Davidsonville Athletic Association (DAA) and South River High School. On any given evening or weekend, you’ll find O’Kieffe working the crowds at these locations, selling 30 different flavors to a parking lot full of fans.
A “flavor wave” sits on the outside of the truck, allowing customers to make their own concoctions. In addition, O’Kieffe has 20 different varieties that he serves up including Tiger’s Blood, Strawberry Coconut and Blue Raspberry. He even has a Baltimore favorite – Egg Custard.
O’Kieffe said he is pleased with the community support he has received for his business. He knows that too often, ice-cream trucks carry a negative connotation.
See this story about a Waldorf ice cream man selling ice cream bars and marijuana out of his truck.
O’Kieffe said that Kona Ice specifically created a visually attractive truck which parents would feel safe sending their kids to.
“The truck has large windows so you can see inside, is decorated with bright colors, plays happy music and has friendly-looking characters that are inviting to kids and adults,” said O’Kieffe.
O’Kieffe goes further, stating that Kona Ice trucks are the new generation of the ice-cream truck.
“”The Good Humor Man is being redefined by Kona Ice,” said O’Kieffe.
Along with securing accounts with local parks and working county events, O’Kieffe attends birthday parties and school functions.
His territory covers the Edgewater, Arnold, Annapolis, Crownsville and Severna Park area. He said there is another Kona Ice truck in Columbia and one in South County.
O’Kieffe is looking to expand his business to keep up with the demand.
On weekends, O’Kieffe takes along his trusty associate, his seven-year-old daughter who attends Central Elementary.
She helps her dad by riding her bike around the park recruiting buyers and handing out silly bands and tattoos. O’Kieffe said that she even whips up an ice or two.
“All of my daughter’s friends are jealous that her dad is the Kona Ice guy,” said O’Kieffe. “I guess you could say the coolest thing about this job is spending time with my daughter.”
For additional information on Kona Ice call 410-798-5909 or visit email@example.com.