When I took my kids to the Bellevue Branch re-opening back in June, there was an adorable vintage ice cream truck sitting on the street, waiting to give us all a sugar-high. Paulie’s Ice Cream truck is owned by Paul Narvaez, a Montclair High School graduate. It carries all the usual packaged ice cream, as well as some Ben & Jerry’s scoops. My kids were allowed a rare treat of character ice cream (although Dora’s eyeballs had to come off). It was especially tasty since the library received 25 percent of the profits from ice cream sales that day.
As an added bonus, I convinced Paul that making a stop at my street’s upcoming block party would be a great idea. And it was! True to his word, he showed up at 3 PM, old school ice cream song playing and bells jingling. (Am I the only one completely weirded out by the “Hello!” inserted into the ice cream songs these days?) As he drove past the street barricade, he even stopped to make sure the car following him onto the block belonged there. Does that say hometown boy, or what?
Lots of kids (and adults) bought ice cream, and when one boy didn’t get quite what he expected, Paul let him trade. The truck is spotless, inside and out. And, something I appreciated, he didn’t idle while serving the treats; the truck was off!
Paul said that it was quite a journey to restore the 1973 truck because he wanted it to be as authentic as possible (Spongebob ice cream notwithstanding.). The ice cream pictures are attached with velcro so as not to disturb the beautiful white paint job.
Once everyone had purchased some ice cream (some people two), I got a chance to chat with Paul about his hopes for the truck. He said that while he works in marketing, this has been something he’s wanted to do for a while. He spent a lot of time and money first finding the truck and then restoring it. It really looks great – even the patriotic surfboard hanging on the back wall. Paul even has a vintage good humor uniform to complete the look. He has recently started promoting the truck in the Montclair area, and he hopes to be able to visit Montclair more often once word gets out.
Paulie’s Ice Cream Truck can be rented for private parties to serve both ice cream and alcohol (note, private parties!). He can have the truck wrapped with a banner or logo for special events, and party-goers can have their photo taken in the truck. If a truck seems like too much, they also have a vintage ice cream vendor’s tricycle available for events.
Kristin Wald blogs at This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are.