Goodbye Ice Cream Man


When you are a little kid there is nothing that makes you happier then the ice cream man. The pop goes the weasel song is playing and neighborhood kids line up for an Ice Cream Sandwich, a Chipwich, or Scooby Doo Popsicle. I remember they had these long sticks of colored sugar that used to be my favorite. This tradition has to be a staple of the United States but I can’t understand how it survives. This is a business and I must pose the question, where is the money coming from? First of all, gas is 4 bucks a gallon so the driver wants to do as little driving as possible. The upstart costs have to be $20,000 for a truck that big and a refrigeration unit. What’s the profit margin on a ice cream bar? They sell for 2 bucks and cost a quarter? That’s a pretty good margin but how many of these are selling an hour? Say 20 people per hour and you are making 35 dollars. The driver is probably the owner, I really don’t know, so you make 35 bucks minus the cost of the driving which in a truck like that is a real gas guzzler. Maybe 20 people is on the low side of customers but what if you get an hour where you find 2 customers? I just don’t see where the money comes from to offset any upstart costs. My prediction is the ice cream man business will be finished in a few years.