The novel coronavirus pandemic did not dampen Noel and Jasmine Bourroughs’ first summer running a mobile Kona Ice truck in Fairfax and the City of Falls Church.
In fact, their first season of operating the franchise was so successful they decided to expand. By next March, the couple anticipates opening two more trucks that serve Arlington and McLean.
“It is exciting,” Noel said. “I believe wholeheartedly in the company, and the company and I think it’s going to be a winner. ”
For the Bourroughs, who live outside the City of Fairfax, the opportunities to support the community through shaved ice distinguished Kona from the other franchise options they mulled over this spring.
“The more I looked at it, the more I liked it,” Noel said. “The philosophy of the company is fantastic, and owning a business that has the flexibility to give back is satisfying.”
Some jobs limit opportunities for charitable work to allowing employees to participate in a company’s plans, he said. Kona, which has more than 1,600 trucks in 49 states, encourages franchise owners to donate to organizations close to home.
Since the company’s launch in June 2007, it has contributed more than $82 million to community organizations.
“I have the freedom to do as much charity as I can fit into my schedule,” he said.
The Bourroughs pledge to continue the mobile franchise’s tradition of donating thousands of dollars each year to local school groups, teams, and community organizations.
This season, which lasted from July 3 to mid-November, the Bourroughs parked outside an apartment complex at the request of the management and raised money to sponsor a cyclist in a Bike for Multiple Sclerosis event. Another Saturday morning, the couple raised several hundred dollars for two brothers in need of a bone marrow transplant.
“Noel and Jasmine share our commitment to giving back,” Kona Ice founder and president Tony Lamb said in a statement. “They want to have a positive influence on the people in their community, whether it’s new textbooks, sports uniforms or, simply, a smile. We are proud to have them on-board. Together, we are excited to make a difference in the lives of those around us.”
After the season ended two weekends ago, the Bourroughs are in planning mode for next year, although several franchise trucks have switched to cozy winter drinks. He has a good feeling about next season because of the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“If we can get that distributed early in the year, then we should be back on track for a lot of events that were cancelled from this year,” he said. “I’m very enthusiastic about that.”
This season, the truck put up signs reminding people to stay distanced, but the coolest safety-related change was the addition of a self-serve machine that dispenses 10 flavors that customers can mix. Customers insert their spoons into a handle that releases the syrup for a completely touch-free experience.
Those who want to learn more about the Kona Ice of Fairfax or book an event are encouraged to contact the Bourroughs by email at [email protected] or by phone at (703) 953-0114.
Image courtesy Jessica Tcholakov/All Points PR