UPDATE: Surf City leaders give ice cream truck owner permit to sell in town neighborhoods

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Submitted: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:23am
Updated: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 12:27pm

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.


  • SurfCityTom says:

    just what he is dispensing. My point was he should be subject to the same regs any “stationary” vendor or retail outlet is subject to which dispenses the same type of products.

    And he should be required to pay the same fees and have the same permits and licenses as retail outlets.

    One other thought which just struck. He should be required to maintain proof of autmobile liability insurance. He poses the potential for hitting a child which may run into the street or hitting a parked vehicle to avoid a child.

    Were he leasing retail space, the landlord or property management firm would require proof of Liability insurance as a condition of lease signing.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    But I hope the Mayor and Council will require him to meet the same standards as any retail outlet in town which dispenses consumable items including a periodic check of his equipment by the Health Department. He should also be paying the same fees required of any retail vendor for the license and permit to dispense his products.

    And, let’s hope the permit issued requires him to remain mobile and not park in one of the public or retail parking lots. If he does that, he’s not keeping with the spirit of the permit he has requested.

  • Vog46 says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the Health department?
    For what?
    Doesn’t this guy dispense pre-packaged ice cream novelties – like ice cream sandwiches, and Popsicles? Or is he dispensing soft serve ice cream from a machine?
    If it’s prepackaged individual servings he needs no health department blessing – does he?

    Best Regards

  • longcolt says:

    those ice cream trucks & their operators have always given me the creeps. little to much of an ex-con/carni flavor for me. i don’t let my kids go near them.
    each to his own i guess..

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