Is that an ice cream truck from Hawaii? Well, not quite.
It’s Bob and Joyce Bouchard, Smithfield residents who sell Kona Ice, which is flavored shaved ice, from a colorful truck that plays songs fit for a hula dancer.
“When you see the truck pull up, the kids are dancing and smiling,” said Joyce, who runs the kitchen at Windsor School in Smithfield. “It’s an activity and a whole adventure. It’s an instant smile.”
Bob and Joyce, who have been married for 30 years, said not only do they hope to make a profit with the company, which they heard about online, they are donating a portion of the proceeds to local causes. They started their efforts about a month ago and plan to make their first donation to Pilgrim High School’s football team.
According to Bob, a physical education teacher at Park View Middle School in Cranston, who also coaches outdoor track, cross country and swimming at Cranston East High School, said there are more than 300 trucks in 40 different states doing the same thing: selling Kona Ice and helping others.
Kona Ice, said Bob, was built on fundraising. He said Kona has already given back nearly $4 million to communities across the country after starting the company three or four years ago.
Recently, local children Katlyn Bernier, 10, a fifth grader at John Wickes Elementary School, and her sisters Grace, 7, a second grader at Wickes, and Kylie, 5, who just started kindergarten at Drum Rock Early Childhood Center, got the chance to sample the frozen treat.
As Joyce said, the girls were all smiles as soon as they saw the truck.
Kona Ice comes in 10 flavors, including blue raspberry, watermelon, cherry, pina colada, lemon lime, orange, tropicana, tiger’s blood, grape, strawberry, plus 15 additional specialty flavors like pink lemonade and root beer.
For more information, visit kona-ice.com.