12 Apr The ChillMobile Featured In AARP Magazine!
Making a Career Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic
These people got inspired when the work world was turned upside down and switched careers
by Sarah Mahoney, AARP | April 12, 2021
FROM TROLLEY TOURS TO ICE-CREAM TRUCK
Tammy Hauser, 57, Sarasota, Florida
I thought I’d made the pivot of my life when I started Discover Sarasota, a trolley tour company, in 2018. The business was thriving, and in December 2019, I did something impulsive: I bought a super-cute vintage ice-cream truck I saw on Facebook Marketplace. It cost $14,000, and my team thought I was nuts. I planned to put it next to my trolley cottage and sell snacks to my tour guests. Then COVID-19 hit, and on March 20, I had to shut down the business.
One day, as I looked at this 1979 Good Humor truck in my driveway, I thought, Wait. Food trucks are essential businesses. I own a food truck. So, I launched the ChillMobile. We make as much as $1,900 a day, selling ice-cream treats — such as Toasted Almond bars — and local artisanal items. Boozy pops are a huge hit. We often get booked for neighborhood driveway cocktail parties, and events at schools and older-adult facilities.
We have reopened the trolley, but business is slow. My assistant handles the tours while I run the ice-cream truck with Max, my papillon dog. He often wears an ice-cream bow tie.
I’m glad we’re doing so well. It’s 80 degrees here year-round. And ice cream is a recession-proof business. But this has been about so much more than making money. It’s brought so much comfort and joy at a time when people have needed it.