In the minds of many, the jolly tune of an ice cream truck instantly evokes childhood memories; scorching summer days made bearable thanks to a favorite ice pop or soft serve. These days, with food trucks more popular than ever, it’s no surprise ice cream trucks are seeing a resurgence. In fact, today’s Best New Jersey Food Trucks spotlight shines on Ice Cream Emergency.
This mobile ice cream parlor travels to events and parties alike, and operates in the Central New Jersey area. (Though franchising opportunities allow the brand to reach a much wider audience. Click here to see which areas they service.) Sue Dorfman is the owner of Ice Cream Emergency, and aims to provide the ultimate dessert experience. The food “truck” (which is really a bus) carries a variety of flavors and toppings and can handle large events.
Sue got in to the food truck business in March 2019 after spending years in the restaurant industry. Since then, she’s catered countless events ranging from birthdays to weddings. Below, you’ll find Best of NJ’s exclusive interview with Sue about all that Ice Cream Emergency has to offer.
The Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Ice Cream Emergency Interview
Best of NJ: What did you do before Ice Cream Emergency?
Sue Dorfman: Before starting my own business with the Ice Cream Emergency bus, I worked in the food and restaurant industry.
BONJ: What different roles did you play in the food and restaurant industry?
Sue: My main role in the restaurant industry was waitressing. My last job before opening up the Ice Cream Emergency bus was as a customer service representative at Wawa. I worked in several areas of the store, but mostly in the deli area preparing food.
BONJ: In what ways did those experiences prepare you for your current role with Ice Cream Emergency?
Sue: I learned to improve my customer service skills, how to multitask, problem solve, and what it meant to go above and beyond to provide a great experience. Shout out to my buddy Cara Jean Grobelny at Wawa!
BONJ: What made you get into the food truck business?
Sue: After researching several business concepts, I decided I wanted to go mobile. It gives me the flexibility to travel around and not be confined to one location. Also, everyone loves ice cream, and the Ice Cream Emergency bus is unique in the fact that guests come inside and aren’t served through a window.
BONJ: Why is ice cream better when it’s from a truck (or bus)?
Sue: An ice cream truck brings back nostalgic childhood and summer memories. What better way to celebrate than with an ice cold sweet treat for dessert? That brings joy to people. In our case in the bus, we come to you and we bring everything to a celebration or gathering.
BONJ: Tell us about Ice Cream Emergency. How is it different from a typical ice cream truck?
Sue: Ice Cream Emergency is a uniquely themed, full-service mobile ice cream catering company. What differentiates us from a traditional ice cream truck is that guests are normally served inside the bus and create their own sundaes.
BONJ: What are all the different flavors and items people can find on your bus?
Sue:All of our ice cream is between 14 percent and 16 percent butterfat content. I carry a variety of traditional flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, and cookies and cream. And I carry a variety of specialty ones; including salty caramel truffle, cappuccino crunch, chocolate peanut butter, moose tracks, pistachio, cotton candy, and birthday cake. I also carry lemon and raspberry sorbet as dairy-free options.
Based on the package selected for parties, toppings would include choices such as rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, M&M’s, chocolate chips, Oreo cookie pieces, gummy bears, Sour Patch Kids, Reese’s Pieces, hot fudge, caramel, chocolate sauce, peanut butter sauce, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries.
BONJ: What different packages do you offer for catering and no-contact delivery?
Sue:During this pandemic, and for a limited time, we have been offering delivery packages. We have a Family DIY Sundae package, the Best Wishes packages, and most recently I have been preparing and serving on site through the rear doors of the bus. This has been a nice step toward being able to serve inside the bus again.
We have 5 different catering packages for inside the bus events. Our basic traditional sundae package comes with sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and maraschino cherries. We also have a create-your-own sundae bar with hot fudge, caramel, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Oreos, and gummy bears. We also added a new package at the beginning of this season that includes gourmet waffle bowls.
BONJ: What is a typical day like for you during a catering event?
Sue: On a typical catering day I start early in the morning to prepare and stock the bus. Events with up to 100 people are scheduled for an hour. Serving times for events with more than 100 people are increased. During the busy season, we are able to do four to five parties in the course of a day.
BONJ: Do you know what events you’ll be at this summer?
Sue: Right now, I have scheduled birthday parties, graduations, bridal showers, engagements, a wedding in September, a recreation camp, and employee appreciation days. I hope very soon to be able to cater these events inside the bus. If we can’t, then I have the rear door serving as an alternative.
To learn more about Ice Cream Emergency, click here to visit their website.
Want to find more of The Best New Jersey Food Trucks? Then check out The Best New Jersey Food Trucks: The Complete Series.
All Photos: © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ