Local Entrepreneur Is Dedicated To Giving Back To The Community

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bringing amusement park excitement everywhere it stops, Hamilton County’s new Kona Ice truck blends entertainment and gourmet frozen treats into an experience unlike any other in the area.

“When our customers get a glimpse of the decked out truck and its vibrant colors, the looks on their faces say it all,” said Kyle Elrod, who joins his wife, Dei, as the local residents and entrepreneurs responsible for shifting good times into overdrive in Hamilton County, including Bradley County and Chattanooga with the launch of their third Kona Ice truck to better serve the area. The Elrods have been in Hamilton County since 2010 and are continuing to grow to meet the demand of the community.

Kona Ice’s escape from the ordinary begins as the sounds of tropical calypso music fill the air at each event and group gathering. The fun continues as all in attendance get their overflowing cups of freshly shaved ice and then help themselves to any of the ten tastes on the truck’s Flavorwav (an interactive dispensing system in which individuals select from one or more of the flavors to pour over their fluffy snow) or the additional 20-plus flavors and 500 different combinations available.

“It’s an opportunity to kick back, let your hair down and just get a bit goofy for a few minutes,” said Mr. Elrod. “Kids go crazy and we see adults getting just as into it as the young ones. We’ll even throw a few leis or Kona t-shirts on our customers, and send them home with a fun Kona Ice cup. From start to finish, we engage all their senses.”

Equally as appealing about the launch of Kona Ice in Hamilton County is its philanthropic commitment to the communities it serves. The Elrods are continuing Kona Ice’s tradition of donating thousands of dollars each year to local school groups, teams and community organizations. As the Elrods book events with these groups, they pledge to give back a percentage of the proceeds from each stop. As of June 2013, the Elrods have given back over $75,000. Nationwide, Kona Ice has donated more than $10 million dollars.

“The Elrods share our passion for giving back,” said Tony Lamb, founder and president of Kona Ice, who created the concept after witnessing the fear in his daughter’s face during a visit from an old rusty ice cream truck. “We want to engrain Kona Ice into the fabric of the towns where we live, work and have families. Returning a portion of what we earn back to the groups helps ensure that they continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our friends, neighbors and family members.”

Beyond fundraisers, popular spots for Kona Ice stops in Hamilton County and Chattanooga include birthday parties, corporate events and neighborhood socials. The Elrod’s truck also maintains regular weekday and weekend routes. To learn more, contact Kyle Elrod at 423 402-1811 or at kelrod@kona-ice.com  facebook.com/konaicetn

Sushi Bistro Opens On Main Street; Other New Eateries Include Fireside Grill, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish, Dominica’s Caribbean Kitchen

At the Thursday meeting of the city Beer Board, four consumer beer licenses were issued to restaurants and bars. Alex Thai Food & Sushi Bistro, 26 E. Main St., is on the ground floor of a new apartment building. The restaurant has a capacity of 65, with hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fireside Grill, 3018 Cummings Hwy. is being opened as a restaurant/bar in Lookout ... (click for more)

Art Of Cooking Teaches Children About Farm To Table

Contemporary Performing Arts of Chattanooga’s arts education program, Full Circle Teaching Artists Program, presents Art of Cooking at Barking Legs Theater. Running every Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. until Oct. 13, Art of Cooking seeks to provide families of preschool children with nutritional education and problem solving opportunities through the magic of performing arts, dinner ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

In Surprise Vote, Chattanooga City Council Turns Down Short Term Vacation Rentals

In a surprise vote, the City Council on Tuesday night turned down allowing a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. Only Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell voted in favor. Opposed were Carol Berz, Yusuf Hakeem, Larry Grohn, Moses Freeman, Ken Smith and Russell Gilbert. Chris Anderson was absent. Afterward, Councilman Smith said, in light of the vote, ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saving A Life & More

About 40 years ago I was at an afternoon football practice when one of those who was also watching from the fence was bitten by a bumble bee or yellow jacket or whatever it was and almost died from anaphylactic shock. Luckily an athletic trainer had an EpiPen, jammed it into the man’s thigh and it is believed to have saved the victim’s life. For years I kept an EpiPen on the top ... (click for more)