Ice cream trolley finds new owner

July 2, 2020

The Tasty Trolley is back on the road with a new owner.

Tony Axtell of Blue 42 Sports Grill in Hartford bought the eye-catching 26-foot ice cream truck from Tony and Kelli Ritter of Brandon.

Axtell provides concessions for the Hartford Area Softball Association, so The Tasty Trolley frequently can be found at ball games at the town’s sports complex.

It’s also booking events in the Sioux Falls area, and Axtell plans to send it through neighborhoods in the evening, reliving his childhood memories of getting a treat from an ice cream truck.

“Every kid should get to have that experience,” he said, noting that it’s especially important to help lift spirits through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tasty Trolley specializes in flavored soft serve ice cream. It uses an ice cream base from Stensland Family Farms, and customers can pick from more than 100 flavors.

In addition to the ice cream and other frozen treats, the menu includes hot dogs, brats, pulled pork sandwiches, walking tacos and nachos.

Axtell also is using The Tasty Trolley as a fundraising generator. It recently raised more than $900 for the softball association and $700 for the Canton Volunteer Fire Department.

“It’s expensive to set up concessions (as a fundraiser) if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Axtell said.

He has extensive experience in the industry, serving as the chef at Blue 42 and operating other ventures with his wife, Courtney, including On the Spot Catering and Dakota Plains Event Center, which is adjacent to the restaurant.

The trolley is helping make up for lost revenue in those businesses, which have suffered because of the pandemic, Axtell said. It also helps provide an income for employees, he said.

“We saw an opportunity to grow our business in a way that would provide a way to build an income and continue to work while we’ve seen such a dramatic drop in numbers before that,” he said. “We’re up to about 50 percent of our normal numbers now.”

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Ice cream trolley finds new owner

The Tasty Trolley is back on the road with a new owner.

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