Despite being in the ice cream business, John Clopton will be busy this winter.
The owner of Frostbite Gourmet Ice Cream is planning to launch a tricycle-based ice cream delivery service this spring.
"I'm purchasing my first trike this month with the intent of delivering in Lafayette Square and possibly Downtown, to start off," he says.
Until Clopton can get approval from the city of St. Louis for anything more, he'll only be offering residential delivery.
"Unfortunately the city only gives vending allowances for motorized vehicles in vending districts," he says. "The trike doesn't qualify as a food truck, street vendor or sidewalk vendor, so until the ordinance is revised, I won't be able to sell like a food truck."
The exact launch date is weather dependent, and delivery service hours are yet to be determined.
Clopton is having a customized tricycle built specifically for ice cream delivery and anticipates receiving it in early January. Clopton will be the only one manning the pedals at first, but plans to expand his delivery territory, add more trikes, and hire other "drivers" as business picks up.
In support of the new effort, the Frostbite website is being updated to showcase the delivery service and facilitate ordering.
Customers will be able to choose from his line of 12 signature flavors, which includes not only the usual suspects, but more adventurous flavors like Six Row Strong Porter (made with beer from the local brewery), champagne, and mango (in season).
He'll also offer a rotating line of experimental flavors such as spicy hot chocolate, cucumber mint and candied bacon. All Frostbite flavors are made with as many local ingredients as possible, including honey from Missouri and Illinois farms.
In addition to launching the delivery service, Clopton has started working with a commercial kitchen to ramp up production and is negotiating retail deals with several local stores.