By Danielle Nelson
*This article is posted on The Express Times website.
Attendees wait in line July 7 to buy Kona Ice during a benefit event at Forks Township Community Park. (Matt Smith)
Shannan and Steven Schwartzinger spent a night scooping shaved flavored ice to help a family of fire victims.
Helping the Easton area community is what drew them to their mobile business in the first place.
The Forks Township couple own a Kona Ice Truck. They provide shaved ice at birthday parties, schools, fundraisers and sporting events from the 1970s-themed truck.
They bought a franchise in part because of the company’s philosophy to donate a portion of proceeds to charity.
Steven Schwartzinger said about 10 to 20 percent of their proceeds go to nonprofit groups.
“There is that opportunity to give a few dollars back, to help raise money for families in need or different organizations like schools and churches,” Steven Schwartzinger said. “We are willing to give back.”
When they heard about the July 6 fire at a vacant home that also heavily damaged the Fossa family’s home, they teamed up with other businesses and organized a fundraiser for the family. They sold snow ice to residents and donated their entire earnings that night to the family.
“It was close to $3,000,” Shannan Schwartzinger said.
Based out of Kentucky, a Kona Ice Truck runs in Allentown and several are in New Jersey. Kona Ice has donated more than $17 million to various nonprofit groups throughout the country.
“You definitely get a feeling of family with all the other franchises,” Shannan Schwartzinger said. “Everybody is out there to help each other out.”
Steven Schwartzinger said aside from the franchise fee and the truck payment, the product cost is low. “So it is profitable. And you can afford to give a little bit back and still have a decent bargain.”
Kona serves up to 30 different tropical flavors like Banana Colada, Green Apple and Strawberry Daiquiri. Prices are between $2 and $5, where the largest cup changes colors depending on how cold it is.
The Schwartzingers formerly owned the restaurant MeGs and MaDs on College Hill, but they didn’t get to meet the public then the way they do now in their truck.
After living in Forks Township for 10 years with two children, the Schwartzingers said they felt they needed to give back to the community.
“We have raised our children here,” Shannan Schwartzinger said. “They have gone to Easton Area School District.”
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