During his summer breaks from college, Ben Van Leeuwen drove a Good Humor ice cream truck through the streets of Greenwich, dishing out tasty treats and making money.
Today, at 24, he is back. But this time he's driving his own custom-made yellow ice cream truck and carrying his newly launched brand of gourmet all-natural ice cream, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream.
After graduating last year from SkidmoreCollege with a degree in business, Van Leeuwen interviewed for various jobs. But nothing felt right. He decided to focus on starting his own business - one that combined his love of food and his passion for business.
He said he knew he loved to cook dishes such as Indian and Thai but was not interested in becoming a chef. He liked the idea of creating a menu but not working in a kitchen. After talking with friends, he came up with the idea of starting his own gourmet organic ice cream business. With his experience with Good Humor trucks, he said he knew the ice cream truck business was lucrative and fun.
Since starting an operation like this typically requires about $100,000, Van Leeuwen said he started raising money a year ago. He also found investors to support his new business.
The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream trucks will be in Greenwich this month before heading to New York City to launch there.
Image via MNGInteractive