This year, McPartland pushed her passion for baking and deserts to a new extreme when she purchased an ice cream truck off e-Bay, had it shipped to her West Medford home all the way from Pennsylvania and started selling homemade ice cream sandwiches, or as they’re known to her family and customers, “Frozen Hoagies.”
“Hoagies” is an appropriate name because each ice cream sandwich, made with homemade cookies baked by this Medford native, contains a heaping helping of three homemade ice cream scoops, which come from Chilli Cow in Arlington.
“I’ve been baking since I was a kid,” McPartland said. “And my mother always let me use the big oven, none of that easy bake stuff.”
Before diving headfirst into the new venture, McPartland experimented with taste tests over the spring and used every occasion as an excuse to try out new concoctions. She served the first frozen hoagies during Easter and St. Patrick’s Day 2011.
They were a smash hit.
McPartland then moved on to a bigger audience, stationing her food truck on the Cambridge side of the Esplanade for the Fourth of July holiday celebration. She never got a break between 4 p.m. and the end of the fireworks.
“We did great business that day,” McPartland said. “I didn’t have enough people to help me scoop. We had lines of 100 to 150 people all night.”
McPartland has since recruited her three nephews Kevin, Peter, and Tim Long to help her work the truck while she goes to a corporate day job during the week. Every evening, McPartland comes home and bakes hundreds of cookies to be sold the next day.
Tim Long has been manning the “Frozen Hoagies” truck most days and he noted how happy customers are after purchasing the frozen treats.
“I’ve worked a lot of retail jobs, and nobody’s mad at you when you serve them ice cream,” Tim Long said.
McPartland credits her brother-in-law, John Riley, with inventing the name, “frozen hoagies.”
“I didn’t like it at first,” McPartland said, “but it’s grown on me. It’s a good name.”
McPartland said her nephews are great with technology and have helped with the growing business. Kevin created the logo, an ice cream sandwich with four monstrous chocolate chips and a pink flag sticking out of it, as well as the website for the business.
McPartland’s nephews update the “Frozen Hoagies” Twitter and Facebook page every morning before taking the truck to let customers know precisely where they can get their frozen hoagie fix. The truck can be found most weekdays at Faneuil Hall, Boston Medical Center or Northeastern University.
“During lunchtime, we’ve done really well being near offices,” said Kevin Long. “Later in the day, we do a lot of business with college students close to campuses.”
He added they do the best business at big events like the Fourth of July, saints’ festivals in the North End and most recently, the Monster Food Truck Festival in Framingham and Suffolk Downs over the last two weekends.
Kevin Long said he never had a frozen hoagie before his aunt started experimenting with them earlier this year, but he’s had no complaints about his role as taste-tester.
Tim Long added he learned he has muscles he never knew he had before lifting so many scoops of dense ice cream each day. All three brothers say they’ve learned to use creative problem-solving skills to figure out the best ways to set things up in the morning, find parking spots for the truck and deal with the unexpected problems that arise when running a small, mobile business.
However, none of them doubted their aunt would be successful in her new venture or that they would be helping her along as they have with other family businesses.
“I kind of knew it would work just because I’ve been eating her cooking as far back as I can remember,” Peter Long said. “She always had gingerbread cookies, pineapple upside down cake and potato salad — the only kind my grandfather would ever eat, but he would leave with half a gallon.”
— For more information on where to find McPartland’s Frozen Hoagies Truck, visit www.frozenhoagies.com.