Sweet Northland Business Venture Keeps Folks Cool

By KBJR News 1

September 16, 2010 Updated Sep 16, 2010 at 11:27 PM CDT

TACONITE, MINN. --- It's only every so often a business entrepreneur has an idea that tastes this good.

Marla Beaty hatched her sweet business venture when one of her daughters was looking for a part time job.

Now five years later- it's a reality.

Marla Beaty officially launched Curb Side Craze in August.

"I've always been trying to think of good ideas for businesses," Beaty said. "It's kind of a hobby."

She never expected demand to grow so quickly.

"What I've been doing is sending out a mass text to everybody in town, so everybody knows to get their money ready cause their kids will be asking," said one Taconite resident.

"It's all over Facebook, as far as kids sending to other kids, and moms video taping it and putting it up," said Beaty.

Word about the ice cream truck is spreading from neighbor to neighbor across the Range.

"It's awesome! We love it," said several girls.

"This is the first time I've ever seen one," said another customer.

Beaty says developing this mobile business was a piece of cake, but getting it rolling was an entirely different story.

"The problems with buying an older vehicle, we've usually had a break down every week," Beaty said. "Unfortunately it's during the sunniest day of the week."

She found the 1992 Aeromate truck on Craigslist for about $2,500.

"The guy who I bought it from was actually going to do the same thing in the cities, he decided he wasn't going to and I said I want to and I'll come grab it for you," said Beaty.

With the help of her family, including her 15 year-old daughter Alyssa, who told us when she thought her mom "was crazy" in wanting to start the business.

Marla was able to transform the truck into a freezer on wheels in just two weeks. The investment is resulting in ear to ear dividends.

"You know, the people come to you, they're excited and happy to see you," said Beaty. "Can't ask for anything more than that."

"You see all these kids smiling and stuff, it makes you really happy," said Beaty's daughter.

The two are getting a front row seat to creating new neighborhood bonds.

"Every time I go down a street, neighbors who don't talk very often, all kinda come out and buy ice cream and they strand around and reminisce about the ice cream truck when they were young."

It's a small business plan, Beaty plans to serve up across the entire Iron Range.

As for her day job, Marla Beaty works for the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Craving ice cream now? Check out Marla's Curbside Crazy Facebook Page

Written for the web by Kevin Jacobsen