Local Business

Kona Ice a cool party on wheels

HUNTLEY – Sherry Ravagnie says her business is like bringing amusement park excitement everywhere she stops,

McHenry County’s new Kona Ice truck blends entertainment and gourmet frozen treats.

“When our customers get a glimpse of the decked out truck with its island-themed top
and vibrant colors, the looks on their faces say it all,” said Sherry, who teamed up with her husband, Scott, to launch their Kona Ice truck. “At first they’re amazed. Then they
just can’t stop smiling – regardless of age,” she said.

"It's more my thing than his thing," Sherry said of her husband, a battalion chief for the Huntley Fire Department. "But it's something that all of us as a family can do and enjoy together."

Sherry used to have a career in desktop publishing but quit to be a stay-at-home mom. Now that her boys – ages 8, 9 and 12 – are a bit older, she decided it was time to try something new. The Ravagnies are the first Kona Ice franchisees in Illinois. Currently, there are more than 200 Kona Ice franchises in more than 40 states.

She liked the fact that Kona Ice, based in Florence, Ky., gives back to communities. Since its inception in 2007, Kona Ice has donated more than $5 million to neighborhood schools, organizations and sports team.

"It's great for doing fund-raising," Sherry said. "Whatever we sell we'll give back 20 percent to whatever organization we're working with. I like that we can give back to the community."

The sounds of tropical calypso music from the truck fill the air at each event and group gathering. Customers fill their cups with freshly shaved ice and then help themselves to a variety of flavors on the truck’s Flavorwave, an interactive dispensing system where cutsomers can select from one or more of the flavors to pour over their fluffy snow.

Among the 37 flavors available are tiger's blood (coconut and strawberry), blue raspberry, piña colada, and "Tropikona." Sugar-free favors also are available.

"We're not snow cones," Sherry said. "We're shaved ice in a cup."

Cup prices range from $2 to $5. A free flower lei or rubber bracelet is given with a $4 King Kona order. The $5 size includes a souvenir cup.

“Sherry and Scott share our passion for giving back,” said Tony Lamb, founder and
president of Kona Ice, “We want to engrain Kona Ice into the fabric of the towns where we live, work and have families. Returning a portion of what we earn back to the groups helps ensure that they continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our friends, neighbors and family members.”

Beyond fundraisers, popular spots for Kona Ice stops in McHenry County include birthday parties, corporate events and neighborhood socials. The Ravagnies' truck also maintains regular weekday and weekend routes. Sherry said she is awaiting delivery for a Kona Ice cart that can be wheeled to inside events

"We're totally booking events for 2013," Sherry said. "We're fun in a cup."

To learn more, call 224-209-6022 or email sravagnie@kona-ice.com.

Kona Ice:
What: Shaved ice treats featuring 37 different flavors.
Where: Based in Huntley, but serving all of McHenry County
When: Marengo Settler Days, Oct. 7 during the parade beginning at 2 p.m.; and Huntley's Coach Tomaso Celebration run/walk starting in the morning on Oct. 13 at the Tomaso Sports Complex in the Talamore Subdivision at 11950 Ackman Road, Huntley.
Information: Call 224-209-6022, email sravagnie@kona-ice.com, or visit www.kona-ice.com


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