The cheerful chimes of steel drums will soon sound across southern Brunswick County as the newest Kona Ice mobile truck cruises through the community to sell its signature shaved ice.
The truck’s arrival is designed to provide a full sensory experience, from the calypso music to the flurry of lights and color adorning the tiki hut-themed truck down to the scent of sunscreen in the air.
“It’s a total vibe,” said Amber Herring, who along with her husband Robby launched Kona Ice of South Brunswick County last month.
Founded in 2007 by CEO Tony Lamb, the Kentucky-based Kona Ice includes more than 1,400 trucks in 49 states. Kona Ice of South Brunswick County will serve Town Creek and Bolivia down to Shallotte and Sunset Beach.
Customers of the mobile truck can choose from as many as 500 different flavors, with kid-friendly options like Green Apple and Blue Cotton Candy alongside more sophisticated choices like Lavender Lemonade and Wedding Cake.
The Flavorwave, a self-service dispensing system, is a more hands-on experience. For this order, customers receive a cup of freshly shaved ice, which they can dress to their desires from a dispenser loaded with the top 10 flavors from the Kona Ice menu.
“They can have one. They can have all ten. They can mix and match all that they want,” Amber Herring said.
Flavorwave choices include Blue Raspberry and Tiger’s Blood. The latter’s unusual name often piques the curiosity of customers, Amber Herring noted.
“It’s delicious,” she said of the blend of coconut, strawberry and watermelon flavors in Tiger’s Blood.
Pickle is another unorthodox flavor for Kona Ice customers. This is especially popular for kids who have been playing baseball or softball on hot days, Amber Herring said.
The couple was first introduced to Kona Ice through their children, who Amber Herring said love the company’s shaved ice. A fellow parent from her daughter’s softball league is a Kona Ice franchisee, and guided Amber and Robby Herring through the franchising process.
Amber Herring, who previously worked in phlebotomy for the last 20 years, is now working full-time for Kona Ice of South Brunswick County. She said the company’s commitment to giving back to the local community is what drew the couple to the business. Nationwide, Kona Ice has donated more than $135 million to the communities it serves.
“It’s such a great brand. What we stand for is absolutely amazing, and [it’s] what we’re trying to teach our kids,” Amber Herring said.
In addition to appearances at fairs and festivals, parades, and local neighborhoods, Kona Ice trucks provide on-site fundraising for organizations, often schools or ones with a children-centered mission.
For example, Kona Ice of South Brunswick County recently partnered with Cedar Grove Middle School in Supply. When the truck makes appearances for sports events or other pre-arranged occasions, the school will receive a portion of the sales.
“We’re a unique, fun way to build the community by giving back,” Amber Herring said.
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