The Chillwagon and crew has been featured on Fox Carolina
with Heather Moylan, WSPA Scene on 7
, Studio 62
with Jamarcus Gaston, The Greenville News
, The TR Tribune, Edible Upcountry
, Off the Grid Greenville
, Valley Living Magazine, and HIS Radio
with Alison Storm, Jim Mann and Rob Dempsey.
New ice cream truck churns out old-fashioned homemade organic ice cream
By Lillia Callum-Penso
The Greenville News
May 4, 2016
Ryan Owens never really considered selling ice cream.
But sometimes, life presents all the right elements for you to do something and you just have to go with it. So when Owens found the perfect 1965 Divco truck
, and his wife perfected the perfect ice cream recipe, he thought why not start an ice cream truck?
But of course, the creative side of Owens, a web designer and marketing expert by trade, meant he couldn't just start any ole ice cream truck. It had to be more interesting, more unique, cool.
"We thought if we're going to do it we didn't want to go the scary ice cream truck route," says Owens, of his new family venture. "We wanted to go more upscale."
The Chillwagon officially hits the streets this summer, bringing old-fashioned, homemade, organic ice cream to the masses. The truck will be making regular stops at the Travelers Rest Farmers Market
, and will likely take up shop in downtown Greenville's central business district as well.
With a completely restored historic delivery truck, The Chillwagon will be hard to miss, but Owens is really hoping to make a splash with the product. In addition to using organic condensed milk and cream, The Chillwagon ice creams are made with 100 percent organic Peruvian cocoa beans and real vanilla beans.
The menu will consist of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, but will offer endless possibilities thanks to about 20 different toppings
. Choose from cereals, chocolate chips and cookie crumbs to candies and fresh (and local when possible) fruit.
The Chillwagon will also serve up milkshakes
, root beer floats
, and natural fruit popsicles.
But one of the more exciting offerings is the "fronut,"
a donut topped with ice cream and toppings.
"We're taking it up a notch," Owens says.
The ice cream truck idea really started with the truck. See, Owens, by his own admission, "has had a long love affair with classic cars." The ice cream came after some research and considering things the family – wife, Michelle, daughter, Carson, 15 and son, Zach, 9 – could do together.
From there, the idea grew. At first the thought was to just sell the prepackaged ice creams, but the Owens weren't fond of the idea of all the artificial ingredients. Then, they considered selling pre-made premium ice cream, but again it didn't seem to fit.
So Michelle did some research and a lot of recipe testing and The Chillwagon was officially born.
"I call it a hobby, I'm not calling it a business yet," Owens says with a laugh. "It's really something we're going to have fun with."
Clearly. In fact, the Chillwagon's current tagline is "The Coolest Ice Cream Truck on the Planet."
The truck itself is an original Divco, which were originally manufactured in Detroit post WWI. They were mostly used by dairies and bakeries, and so Owens says it's fitting that the Chillwagon truck is now being used for ice cream delivery.
"They're really fantastic people and that truck is unbelievable," says Adrienne Hawkins, director of the Travelers Rest Farmers Market
. "Really, this year, we're just highlighting the people that really work hard to support farms and local ingredients. So the quality of our vendors is greatly heightened."
The Owens' are no strangers to owning their own business. They have owned the web design firm, Stratatomic
, since 2000. One of Stratatomic's clients, Copper River Grill
, has opened its kitchen space to the ice cream making endeavor.
"It's kind of taking an idea and seeing what we could do with it," Owens says. "From restoring the truck to making the ice cream to the marketing to the branding, to putting the stickers on the cups. I don't care if we make money; if we have fun, and we learn a lot while we're doing it and we're doing it together then it's worthwhile."
The Chillwagon will hit the streets in late May or early June. It will be at the TR Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. - noon on Saturdays. Look for the truck in downtown neighborhoods, as well. Keep up with the schedule and other details via Facebook
Vintage truck to serve handcrafted, organic ice cream in Upstate
By Heather Moylan
May 4, 2016
GREENVILLE, SC - A new ice cream truck will soon be making its way around the Upstate. But it's not any ordinary ice cream truck. The Chillwagon is a vintage, fully-restored 1965 Divco milk truck serving up gourmet popsicles, milkshakes, and signature fronuts - homemade donuts topped with a scoop of organic ice cream.
Ryan Owens and his wife, Michelle, said the idea came around the kitchen table last year. The family wanted to bring back the time-honored traditions of quality, sustainability, and commitment to their community.
All of the Chillwagon's treats will be made with fruits and dairy ingredients from local farms and markets, including the Travelers Rest Farmers Market
and The Tomato Vine.
Owens said the truck is undergoing a full restoration at K Riley Designs
in Spartanburg and is expected to be ready within the next month.
The Chillwagon will cruise the streets this summer, making stops at the Travelers Rest Farmers Market and near Liberty Bridge in downtown Greenville.