Yukon couple expands snowcone franchise

For Joe and Cassie Lindsey, summer is all about being cool. And the results have been sweet.

The Yukon couple own the Kona-Ice franchise that serves all of Canadian County, as well as parts of Oklahoma, Cleveland and Grady counties.

They purchased the franchise, and their first truck, in June 2014. Since then, business has been good enough to allow them to hire 13 employees and buy two additional trucks. A third truck is on order and should be here in time for next season.

Because they are food trucks, they are constantly on the move, Joe Lindsey said.

“Our only set location is at the outlet mall,” he said. “We are there seven days a week.”

There, they have a kiosk, which is open during mall hours.

Otherwise, the trucks are on the move. On this date, there were at least three childcare centers that were on the schedule. The next day, there were 10.

Lindsey said the franchise is open year-round, but the heaviest months, as can be expected, are May, June and July because of the number of outdoor activities.

Right now, he said, the company is gearing up for Fourth of July activities.

“Business is good,” he said, pointing out that on a weekend where all his trucks are operational, he could easily use more than 3,000 pounds of ice per day.

Fortunately, he also has his own ice-making equipment and is even looking to expand.

He does buy some ice.

“Business stays pretty consistent,” Lindsey said.

They also have locations that are standard stopping spots, including Sam’s Club and Walmart.

Lindsey said he got involved in Kona-Ice after dabbling in a few other small-business enterprises.

One of the last was selling items from a vending cart at festivals. His wife suggested they look into a food truck opportunity.

What they found was Kona-Ice.

“What we like most about the franchise is we can go all year,” he said.

Even in the winter, schools often ask that Kona-Ice come to their events.

And the company gives back to the community.

The local operation has donated more than $130,000 to local charities, including area schools.

They also donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, Lindsey said.

“Kona is a give-back business. That’s what we like most about it,” he said.

The business, however, is all about fun.

“They are snow cones, but we consider it shaved ice. No one comes up to our truck mad or sad. We serve smiles all day. Even in the neighborhoods, they are dancing and having a good time,” he said.

Lindsey said he never expected the venture to be as successful as it has been.

“I never anticipated it. I never did,” he said.

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