UPDATE: After a public hearing Tuesday night, Surf City town council voted to give Anthony Caporino a permit to sell his ice cream in neighborhoods within the town. Now, Caporino will be able to sell ice cream in both Surf City and North Topsail Beach.
SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — There’s nothing sweeter than cooling down with some ice cream on a hot summer day.
A Pender County man, though, says town ordinances are curbing his ice cream truck business. The town of Surf City says it does not want businesses to come in for the summer and beat out local shops open year round.
Tonight, the Surf City Town Council is turning the topic over to the public to hear what they have to say about the sweet treat.
“It’s not even the ice cream. It’s the truck and the music when you come through,” ice cream truck driver Anthony Caporino said. “The excitement on their faces, it’s something I think they all should experience. Something nice. And it’s a good treat.”
Caporino has been selling ice cream from his truck for five years. He says the best part of the job is the excitement kids have when they see his truck coming. But his truck stops short of Surf City, where he’s not allowed to sell his treats on the streets.
“Under their rules, there’s no mobile vendors, and I’m considered a mobile vendor, so I’m not allowed in those areas, but I do neighborhoods that are connected to them,” Caporino said.
Caporino says the kids can hear his truck, but they can’t get the ice cream. This upset some residents and led them to ask for change to some town ordinances to allow ice cream trucks into neighborhoods.
We spoke to some residents in Surf City neighborhoods Tuesday. They agreed they want the cool dessert in their community, and they plan to vocalize that to the town.
Town leaders did not want to go on camera ahead of a public hearing, but they say they are interested to hear the public’s opinion about this sticky situation.
That public hearing for the ice cream debate is set for tonight at Surf City Town Hall. The meeting starts at 7p.m.