Beat The Heat With Cool Treats From Kona Ice

Local Family Business Dishes Out Tasty Summer Fun

As we get deeper into the summer months, and the temperatures continue to rise, everyone begins to seek out ways to beat the heat. From quick dips in the lake to relaxing naps in an ENO hammock, we all have our own ways of cooling off on hot days.

However you choose to chill, it is always more fun when you add in a cool, summer treat, like delicious Kona Ice.

Kona Ice is a nationwide food truck-based company that serves up premium shaved ice in a wide range of flavors and sizes. Locally, the Kona Ice franchise is owned and operated by Jamesa and Eric Hill. Together with their sons Eric, Jr. and Bryson and daughters Avani and Jayla, the Hill family and their tropical-themed trucks have been staples at events in and around Hendersonville since 2017.

“Eric and I started our business after deciding that we wanted to work for ourselves and create something that our family could do together,” says Jamesa. “Following our first visit to a Kona Ice truck at an event, we came away impressed by the quality of the products and the fun experience shared by each of the customers. At that point, we felt that Kona Ice was where we wanted to be.”

Before making the final decision to join Kona Ice, Eric and Jamesa spent a lot of time investigating what it would take to be a franchisee.

“We did a lot of due diligence on Kona Ice, and we talked with a lot of folks involved with the company, including corporate staff and other franchisees,” recalls Eric. “We found out that Kona Ice is more than a franchise, it’s a true family of business owners that all follow a common creed – Be Good, Do Good, For Good.”

After obtaining their franchise and procuring their food trucks, the Hills immediately went to work on building their business. They began to make a name for themselves by showing up at events and serving shaved ice treats with such exotic names as Blackberry Mojito, Rose Petal Lemonade, Aprium Rose Sangria, Wedding Cake and Ninja Cherry.

For the past three years, the Hill family has averaged working over 100 events per year in and around Hendersonville and Middle Tennessee. Their colorful trucks and their signature Calypso music have made them a popular draw during warm weather outings such as Freedom Fest, Sumner Fest, Taste of Hendersonville, sports tournaments and summer camps.

However, Kona Ice is not just about summer. During the cool months of fall and winter, the franchise adapts to the falling temperatures by adding hot cocoa to its menu and offering inside service with a miniature vehicle called the Kona Ice Mini.

“The compact size of our Kona Ice Mini allows us to offer indoor service for our customers,” says Jamesa. “Regardless of the weather, we can continue to bring fun and great products to inside events such as corporate parties and school carnivals.”

Over time, the popularity of Kona Ice has grown to the point that many customers are no longer content to wait until the trucks show up at events. They want to be able to get their favorite shaved ice creations whenever they want them.

“To satisfy the growing demand for our treats, we created a home delivery service called Kurbside Kona,” says Eric. “Kurbside Kona allows our customers to order shaved ice online and choose a specific date and time frame to receive their delivery at their driveway.”

While owning a family-owned business can be challenging, it has proven to be a perfect fit for the Hills.

“Running Kona Ice gives us the ability to structure our schedules around our family’s day-to-day routines,” says Jamesa. “We use our work time together to teach our children about the business and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”

As the weather grows warmer and you find yourself craving a cool, icy indulgence, be sure to stop by a Kona Ice truck and enjoy some fresh, shaved ice with the Hill family.

Kona Ice

Eric and Jamesa Hill




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