AOL Top Ice Cream Spots

AOL’s Digital City just came out with a list of their top 12 ice cream spots throughout the United States. Great list with most notably Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice at #8.

Click here Here for the AOL List.

Out of the 12 listed we are the only Italian Ice mentioned in the AOL list, so I guess that makes us #1 in terms of Italian Ice- what do you think?

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Italian Ice Nets Teen $40,000

Sweet success nets teen a cool $40,000 college scholarship

Photo: Mike - Sweet success nets teen a cool $40,000 college scholarship

Columbus Ohio –When Michael Showalter’s parents asked him to earn money toward college, they had in mind an after-school job. But Michael started a small business, Guiseppe’s Italian Ice, which quickly turned a profit. He then used his business’s success story to win the McKelvey Foundation’s $40,000 college scholarship, awarded to student entrepreneurs.

Guiseppe’s Italian Ice operates out of pop-up tents, dishing up traditional Italian Ice to tired, thirsty fairgoers at festivals and outdoor events. Showalter buys the product from Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice in New Jersey, where it’s manufactured according to a century-old family recipe. “It’s healthier than most desserts, especially stuff that you find at a festival. One of the reasons I sell this brand is it does not have high-fructose corn syrup,” said Showalter. Popular flavors are lemon, blue raspberry, watermelon and cherry. From time to time, the menu also features pina colada, chocolate, grape and green apple Italian ice.

His enterprise, named after his father, began a year ago with an initial investment of $14,000. He recouped those startup costs handily, and in fact, broke even. Soon, Giuseppe’s began adding employees. With eight workers and two tents, Showalter has invested another $20,000 to expand his market–next year, Giuseppe’s Italian Ice will be sold in both Ohio and Michigan.
Showalter demonstrated true entrepreneurial grit, planning and executing a business that could have taken a lifetime to build, in just a matter of months. “It’s been real fun so I keep doing it,” said Showalter. “But it’s been a lot more work than I thought it would be originally, that’s for sure.”
Like most entrepreneurs, he is constantly expanding his funding horizon, and never shies from opportunity. The McKelvey Entrepreneurial e-scholarship could have been designed for Michael Showalter—it was created in 2006 to relieve the burden of debt many students face after graduation.
The Entrepreneurial Scholarship is offered by the McKelvey Foundation to high school students who start their own businesses or nonprofit agencies. The foundation’s founder is Andy McKelvey, who started his own first business selling eggs at age 14, and went on to found several successful businesses, the largest of which evolved into the online employment ad giant, The McKelvey Foundation currently supports over 600 students achieving a better future.
Showalter graduated from high school this year, and isn’t yet sure what his major will be at the University of Michigan. But he is sure about how he’ll earn his income–he’ll continue selling Guiseppe’s Italian Ice at festivals, fairs, and public events.

There are many more resources about entrepreneurial scholarships when you do a search in Google.

Here are some that I found rather quickly:

Young Entrepreneur Award

Mckelvey Foundation




Customer John Young

Little Jimmy’s Customer John Young:

Teacher supplements his income with a $1,000 a weekend ice cart business.

Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices

As a high school teacher with three small children, John Young found he was having difficulty making ends meet. Last year, his father Frank Young decided to help, and went online looking for business opportunities for his son. When he found Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice carts, something clicked. “I liked the website,” the elder Young explains. “We’re very kid-oriented, and the Little Jimmy character looked like a kid-friendly brand. And what’s more appealing to children than an ice cream cart?”

He learned the difference between ice cream and Italian ice when he showed the site to his son, who’s quite a gourmet. “John said real Italian water ice is hard to find,” Frank comments. “We were so intrigued, we decided to visit the plant in New Jersey,” Young concludes.

Italian Water Ice, Italian Water Ice, Water Ice, frozen desserts, Italian Ice, Cream Ice, concession trailer

Little Jimmy’s in the Magazine

A trip to Little Jimmy’s headquarters in Elizabeth, New Jersey, confirmed the excellence of the product, and the Young’s purchased an introductory entrepreneur’s package. The cart they bought fits into the back of John Young’s van, so they can easily load up and travel to fairs and festivals. One of the first places they rented space was a children’s soccer camp, and they’ve had great success at local street festivals in nearby Philadelphia, and historical fairs. “At the 300th Anniversary celebration in White Marsh Township this September, we had our best day ever,” says John Young. “We made $1,000 in a single day, and I couldn’t believe the line waiting to buy!”

The business suits John Young on several levels-the initial investment is small, he can work as much or as little as he likes, and the whole family can participate. “Everyone feels good about ice cream; and the Italian water ice is healthy-moms feel good about that,” he explains. Little Jimmy’s traditional recipe has no milk, is extremely low in fat and carbohydrates, and resembles sorbet more than standard ice cream.

After having a Little Jimmy’s cart for over a year, the Young’s are enthusiastic about adding to their Little Jimmy’s business-they’ve decided to add two carts for the next season, and hope someday to have a storefront. John Young’s reached a decision: “I’ve researched franchises and business opportunities for years. I’m glad I waited until I found Little Jimmy’s-it’s about fun, it’s about family, and it’s about making a go on your own. That’s a product I can be proud to sell.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can start your own Italian ice cart business, contact the Jersey Ice Corporation. Jersey Ice Corporation produces Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

According to Dennis Moore, “Our grandfather started this business with only one Italian ice truck and one Italian ice-making machine nearly 75 years ago! Over the years the company has grown to include more than 100 privately owned trucks and approximately 150 pushcarts located throughout New Jersey. Our Italian ice is sold at the Jersey shore, pizzerias, company picnics, baseball stadiums, Liberty State Park (which services tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island), and in our own store located in the Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

“Recently, due to the increase in demand, Jersey Ice is shipping Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice to entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. We believe this provides a great opportunity for us to expand our business and at the same time introduce our wonderful product to people who would not otherwise have a chance to enjoy our Italian ice,” said Moore.

“We feel that our product is great for a brand-new start-up business in your area as well as an ideal addition to an existing store or business, and here is why: first, there is a high profit margin selling Italian ice; second, Italian ice provides a delicious dessert that is low in calories and contains no fat or dairy.

Italian Water Ice, Italian Water Ice, Water Ice, frozen desserts, Italian Ice, Cream Ice, concession trailer
Little Jimmy’s – Push Cart success

“And while Italian ice is popular in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area, it is not well known in the rest of the country,” added the cart owner.

“By retailing our product, you will be providing your patrons with the opportunity to experience something new, Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices, and soon they will love it as much as we do,” said Dennis Moore, ace entrepreneur.

For more information, contact Jersey Ice Corporation, 655 Pennsylvania Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07201. The phone is 908/352-0666 and the fax number is 908-352-2476. © 2005 by Harris Publications, Inc. All rights reserved under International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden.