PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — While some kids mow lawns or babysit during the summer, Keanna and Liam Daniels have found a cooler way to earn some cash.
The Presque Isle sister-brother duo recently purchased their own ice cream truck, giving some community members a taste of years gone by when the vehicles were more popular and could be seen on city streets.
“We have relatives down in Biddeford and ice cream trucks are all over the place down there,” said Liam, 15, “but they sell pre-packaged items. When we were really little, my Dad was like, ‘Oh wow! Wouldn’t it be cool if we got to open up an ice cream truck’ because we never really had one up here. Now that we’re old enough and looking for summer jobs, we thought, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s open up an ice cream truck.’”
The pink truck, which features cows painted on the back and an ice cream cone and Daniels’ Ice Cream on the side, was purchased downstate.
“My Dad went online and he found this truck in West Baldwin, so we took a ride down there and it was fully-equipped with everything; it hadn’t been anything but an ice cream truck and even had the sinks that we needed,” said Liam. “It was in really nice shape; we just needed to give it some paint, so we bought it that night, Dad and I drove back home, and my grandfather brought it up for us. We repainted it, washed everything down and now we’re in business.”
Daniels’ Ice Cream made its first public appearance on June 29 as it first drove in the Mapleton Daze Parade and then parked to sell the tasty frozen treats. Since then the truck has been seen at Mantle Lake Park in Presque Isle and was in Limestone on the Fourth of July.
“We sell hard ice cream from bins, both in cones and dishes. We have 12 flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, mint, blueberry, cotton candy and cookie dough,” said Keanna, 17, noting that they buy the ice cream in bulk from Dennis Paper & Food Service. “We also sell sundaes, floats and a la modes.”
“We sell milkshakes, too,” said Liam, “but that’s been a learning experience. The machine that we have cuts through our cups, so we’re trying to fine-tune that a bit.”
Keanna, who drives the truck, said while the vehicle does have a jingle, they haven’t done much in the residential areas yet.
“The truck has a speaker, and we’re going to start parking closer to residential streets so people will be able to hear us,” she said.
Though other teenage siblings may squabble, the Daniels say they get along great.
“Our parents were worried that we’d fight, but we don’t really have the time to do that,” said Liam.
“We have a good relationship anyway,” Keanna said. “We’re pretty much best friends, so working together isn’t a problem. We have a good system and things pretty much just flow.”
Daniels’ Ice Cream will be open through the summer and early fall.
“We’ll be around during soccer games and things like that,” said Liam, “and during potato harvest. If somebody asks for us, we’ll even come to a potato field.”
Liam said the business venture will hopefully raise money for college.
“We took some money out of our college accounts to start the business, so once we put that money back,” he said, “we’ll be saving for school.”
To date, Daniels’ Ice Cream has received permission to sell in the parking lots near JP Cash Market and the Swap Buy Sell Guide, both on Main Street in Presque Isle. To find out where Daniels’ Ice Cream will be on a given day, like them on Facebook. For bookings, call 768-0816.
“A lot of people are really happy that the truck is here,” Keanna said. “This is something different that fills a void. Hopefully people will check us out.”