By Devin Loring | App.com
Mark Hinlicky and Alex Hinlicky are co-workers who wear all-white ensembles adorned with black bow ties and old-school delivery caps.
But it’s not a typical business, nor is it a typical business arrangement.
For one, Alex is 10 years old, and his father, Mark, is an entrepreneur who owns two additional companies, neither of which have anything to do with ice cream.
Yes, Mark and Alex own an ice cream truck.
It’s fair to say that this is not your typical metal-box vending vehicle of today. Hinlickity’s Ice Cream operates out of a cherry-red 1954 Chevrolet truck that has been upgraded for modern road driving.
Mark said he choose the name Hinlickity’s to play off their name and the spirit of ice cream — you lick it. The company’s logo is a tongue licking an ice cream cone.
“(I wanted) to get a business started with him (Alex) so I could do stuff with my son, and also to bring back the nostalgia of old-time ice cream,” Mark said. “When I grew up in the ’70s that’s what we used to do, is chase this ice cream truck around.”
Mark owns both irrigation and contracting companies — Sprinkler Master Irrigation Co. and Chestnut Street Business Center — and said this is just a part-time gig he has with his son, but they could probably make it full time if they wanted to.
“It’s been profitable, but it wouldn’t matter if it were profitable or not, I just wanted something I could do with him. Hopefully he could take off with it in another seven years when he gets his license,” Mark said.
Alex said he’s not allowed to drive the truck, and he gets paid in ice cream — which is obviously his favorite part of the job.
Mark said he bought the truck, which was ready to go, from another vintage ice cream vendor in Bernards. It was about a $50,000 investment.
For about four years Mark searched for a truck. He finally found it last year in July and started his business in August.
However, the truck is not high-maintenance, as a food truck or restaurant might be.
A custom freezer body that is mounted on the truck’s bed frame keeps Hinlickity’s array of Blue Bunny ice cream cold. The suspension was improved to carry the freezer’s weight, along with the 1,600 bars of ice cream that fit in the cooler.
“It has a compressor on the bottom. What you do at the end of the day, you plug it in, and the compressor runs just like a refrigerator or freezer in your house,” Mark said. “When the temperature drops below level, it kicks in, and that’s the only maintenance you have to do.”