Every time you hear a honk, a new food truck speeds on the scene. On a weekly basis, there is food-truck roundup after food-truck roundup. Lines are long, temperatures are rising, parking is sometimes a nightmare. Truck options are growing exponentially, but that doesn't mean the quality or creativity is always there.
Like any restaurant, food-truck owners who have a solid concept, great service, and high-quality products are rewarded for their toils. Taking a snapshot poll of who's got the best trucks is easy -- just look at the lines. Lines snaking from the food trucks that have nailed it are sometimes 20 to 30 people deep.
At the end of the day, consumers vote with their dollars. No one understands this concept better than frozen treat veteran and HipPops food-truck owner Anthony "Tony" Fellows.
HipPops specializes in making handcrafted gelato, yogurt, and sorbet pops in
hundreds of flavors, like blood-orange sorbet and pistachio gelato, that can be customized with a variety of Belgian chocolate dips and
toppings like caramelized pecans and toasted coconut. All of HipPops' products are free from additives, high-fructose corn syrup, and
rBST, a growth hormone used in dairy cows. HipPops is also the nation's
only certified kosher dairy truck.
Fellows has been in the ice cream business for 30 years. His
career started at age 15 with an after-school
gig at Baskin-Robbins, a job he never thought would lead to this
moment. As an adult, Fellows worked as a licensee for Edy's ice cream,
and developing several locations in the Northeast for franchisees.
When I first met the cheerful HipPops owner at his Dania Beach microcreamery, one thing became instantly apparent -- the man's got a fevah, and the only prescription is bringing his "frozen masterpieces" to the masses. It's clear he's been staying up well past his bedtime lately, but with his upbeat personality and high energy, you'd never know it.
Tony and his wife, Niva, have been pounding the pavement with their
colorful Pop Truck, as they call it, for a little over two months. Niva is in
charge of their social media, and Tony takes care of running things at
the microcreamery as well as operating the truck.
Creating the perfect pop took nearly two years of trial and error. The entire process is temperature-controlled from the time the pop mold enters the freezer to when it's in his customer's hand. This meticulous detail results in a slow-melting pop that doesn't turn into a sticky mess the second it hits the sweltering heat.
Fellows says that in addition to having a good product, creating a memorable experience for customers is what will keep people coming back. "People can choose to spend $5 anywhere," he says. " I want them to walk away feeling good about their purchase and about the service that we provided.
"People must think I'm a stalker because I watch everyone from the
truck as they take their first bite. I want see their reaction," Fellows jokes. At the end of the day, smiles and long lines are a food truck's ultimate stamp of approval, so when you try your first HipPop, don't be surprised if you have an audience.
HipPops is available for private parties and catered events and can be found this weekend and every other Saturday at the Festival Flea Market in Coconut Creek. HipPops' full schedule can be viewed at hippops.com, or call 954-674-2211.
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