HAMLET — New frozen treats have hit the streets.
Stephen and Pam Cribb of Hamlet are registered nurses and because of their full-time jobs, they said they don’t always get to see the happy moments in life. It’s because of this that they decided to get into the shaved ice business and buy a Kona truck.
“I started looking into it two years ago,” said Stephen Cribb. “Late last year I started looking at it again and got more information.”
Cribb said his wife still needed some convincing, but after visiting a four-day convention regarding Kona Ice, Pam was sold after just 48 hours.
“We wanted to do something to give back to the community and have fun,” said Pam Cribb.
That’s exactly what the two have been doing for the last three weeks. Both have been involved with sports in the community and looked at the new shaved ice endeavor as a way to put and keep smiles on the faces of children of all ages — whether it be after a sporting event or during a birthday party.
Kona participates in fundraisers, festivals, school events, day care, workplace parties, team sports, tournaments, birthday parties or “wherever folks are having fun.”
The Cribbs said Kona is the fastest-growing franchise in the country, and the company has given back $35 million in the last eight years as well as more than $25 million for local communities in 44 states.
Kona also gets involved with schools for fundraising and puts on what are called “Kona Ice Days.” Kona Days are where they coordinate with schools and do activities during the week to help raise money for that particular school. Of all the proceeds, 20 percent is given back to the school.
The main flavors that patrons can pour on their shaved ice themselves from outside the truck are tiger’s blood, lemon lime-a-licious, blue raspberry, wild watermelon, groovy grape, strawberry treasure, island rush, ninja cherry, “orange ya happy” and pina colada.
Other different and distinct flavors that one might not think of to add are banana, black cherry, cactus juice, creamsicle, French vanilla, fuzzy navel, goobajooba, peach, rock and roll, root beer float, strawberry shortcake, wedding cake and wild poisonberry, among many others.
All the shaved ices are made with Vita-Blend, which has between 25 and 75 calories per serving, is sweetened with all-natural Stevia and are fortified with vitamins C and D. According to the nutrition facts, there is no fat or cholesterol added, 10 milligrams of sodium and six grams of sugar per serving.
As far as pricing goes, a regular cup of shaved ice goes for $3, the next size called a King Kona is $4 and the largest cup called a Kowabunga is $5. The biggest size includes $3 refills for the life of the cup.
In addition to helping schools with “Kona Ice Days,” the Cribbs and their truck will be at Raider Stadium in the fall for Friday night football games, where they will give back 20 percent to the Raider Marching Band and its boosters.
They’ve also set up an agreement with the parks and recreation departments of Richmond and Scotland counties to sell Kona Ice there during games. As with the other venues, the Cribbs will give back 20 percent to the counties.
“They told us to show up when we want and give back the 20 percent of what we make,” said Stephen Cribb.
As of now, the Kona Ice in Richmond County is only mobile, but the couple has plans to set up shop in a building they’ve purchased at 552 Charlotte St. in Hamlet, adjacent to the Hardee’s restaurant. Pam Cribb said they hope to start selling from the store by next year.
“This is only our third week, so we’re trying to get our name out and get some exposure,” she said. “Everybody has had a positive response. We’re looking for some bookings in the future. We just want to give back and see smiles. As nurses we don’t always get to see the happiness, but children, they just love getting Konas.”
For more information on the Kona Ice truck or to book the truck and its operators for an event, call 910-280-8825, find them on Facebook under Kona Ice of Scotland and Richmond County or visit www.kona-ice.com.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674, follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson and listen to him at 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on G-104.3 FM.