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

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