Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Bringing ice cream vans to digital age
A FIFE-BASED entrepreneur has unveiled plans to reinvent the traditional ice cream van for the 21st Century.
David Hamilton is best known for his involvement with Dundee games firm Ninja Kiwi and is also a co-owner of the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar.
And he credits his young daughter for the ingredients of a tasty new business idea.
He said: “She was watching the Lego Friends TV show and asked me if we could go to an ice cream van.
“That’s not something that’s so easy to do these days. I said we might be able to go to one the next time we were at the seaside.
“But it was a lightbulb moment – I wondered if there was a way to do a 21st Century ice cream van.”
Technology is at the heart of David’s new business, Scooply.
Not only will the ice cream vans, imported from China, be all-electric but orders and payments are made using an app.
The app will also track the vans, allowing youngsters to know exactly how long it will be before they get their ice cream fix.
The branding of the vans is a mixture of neon pink and yellow.
“It will be hard to miss them, that’s for sure,” said David.
“With Covid, there was a shift to using smartphones and more shopping online.
“I want to help bring an old tradition into the new world for a new generation.
“You pre-order on the app, it’s all cashless but otherwise it’s like a normal ice cream van going street to street.
“It will have a core range of around 12 items on the menu. These will change to have seasonal items for the likes of Halloween.
“I had help from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International in sourcing a factory in China to make the vehicle.”
With the vehicle now in Scotland, David is planning to test the concept in the Wormit/Newport/Tayport area this summer.
His longer-term vision is to franchise the concept. “We would supply the van, equipment, recipes and the app,” he said.
“No one is graduating these days to be driving ice cream vans – people are only doing it if it’s in their family.
“This gives people the opportunity to get into the business. It’s bringing nostalgia back and that’s what I love to do.”