PLAINS TWP. — Pulling a thick, baked-this-morning chocolate-chip cookie from a container, 13-year-old Reagan Woytowich used a blowtorch with a Searzall attachment to give it a touch of heat.
He topped it with vanilla ice cream that immediately began to soften, chocolate sauce and whipped cream and handed the fresh sundae to a customer who marveled at the mix of hot and cold, crunchy and creamy.
“I’d say it’s one of our top sellers,” Reagan said from his vantage point in a vintage 1975 ice cream truck. “That and the cold brew float.”
Demonstrating the latter treat, he added ice cream and hazelnut flavoring to cold-pressed coffee, which is brewed slowly, over 12 to 14 hours with cold water rather than hot, and tends to have less acidity than regular coffee.
“You can have whatever flavor ice cream you want in it,” he said. “I recommend the coffee ice cream.”
Mmm. Coffee ice cream in creamy coffee. It sounds like a coffee lover’s dream.
“It’s very good. It has a strong hazelnut/coffee flavor,” customer Becky Richards, of Hanover Township, said as she sat down at an outdoor table at The Cafe — An American Bistro, on Route 315, where the ice cream truck was parked.
The truck began making appearances in mid-June at The Cafe, which Reagan’s father, Jeff Woytowich, has run for the past 25 years, and also venturing out to parking lots near other businesses and industrial parks, where employees can take an ice cream break — perhaps for a peach melba with raspberry sauce or perhaps a scoop of chocolate or vanilla with caramelized strawberries or bananas on top.
“I like plain cherry vanilla,” said Reagan’s grandfather, Mitty Woytowich, who takes turns with Jeff Woytowich driving their budding entrepreneur to the next location — which could be a company picnic or family birthday party.
Reagan and his dad found the vintage truck in New Haven, Conn., last fall and refurbished it.
“We replaced everything,” Reagan said. “I helped install the hot water heater. I helped clean the truck out. I helped the guy who put the glass in, and I put decals on the truck and helped install the sink.”
It’s not surprising that Reagan wants to be so helpful. Before he was even tall enough to reach the restaurant sink — “when I was young,” is how he puts it — he stood on a bucket to wash dishes. He helps clear tables at The Cafe — An American Bistro too, and helps his dad with reports at the end of the night.
A Lake-Lehman student who enjoys soccer, skiing and water sports when he’s not dishing out ice cream, he’s already set on a career in food service.
“I’d like to make a profit,” he said with a grin.
His 11-year-old sister, Reese, may take a turn helping Reagan, their grandfather added.
“You see the ‘JR’s’ on the truck? The ‘J’ stands for ‘Jeff;’ the ‘R’ stands for ‘Reagan;’ and, I told Reese, the ‘s’ stands for ‘sister’,” Mitty Woytowich said.
To arrange for the old-time ice cream truck to visit your workplace or gathering, call The Cafe — An American Bistro at 570-821-5900.
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.