Friday Photo: Ice cream man reopens with new flavors, locations

Allan Johnson, the ice cream man, taste-tests his product at MoMo’s BBQ and Grill, Harrisburg, where his vintage ice cream tricycle is stored

If you haven’t met Allan Johnson already, you’ve surely seen him.

Maybe he’s been standing next to a peach-colored ice cream cart during the lunch hours of downtown Harrisburg, digging into the cart’s storage compartment to hand out half-pints of homemade ice cream.

Maybe you’ve seen him pedaling down Front Street or juggling bowling pins while surrounded by a crowd of patrons digging into their soft treats with plastic spoons.

Wearing all white except for a black bow tie, ice cream man Allan Johnson is unmistakable—and he’s back for the 2012 summer season.

“An ice cream cart is an American tradition,” says Johnson.

Opened in 2011, Johnson’s company, CreamCycles, is now selling 15 flavors of homemade ice cream made by Bootlleg Creamery in Blain, PA.

“Bootlleg Creamery: it’s so good it should be illegal,” says Johnson, and he’s right.  The ice cream’s velvety texture is coat-your-mouth creamy while not being too heavy, which allows the ice cream to be both full-bodied and refreshing.  Creator Jeff Trout doesn’t skimp on the flavor, either; the Orange Pineapple is bright with citrus and laden with crushed pineapple, and the Peanut Butter—Johnson’s favorite—is so rich that no chocolate swirls are necessary.

New flavors this season include Gangster Grapenut, Sweetheart Cherry, and Coffee Brickle.

Johnson sells half pints of ice cream—which are small enough to eat solo or big enough to share—one for $3 or two for $5.

In addition to his downtown sales, Johnson is also available this season for at block parties, birthday parties, picnics, and fundraisers.  During his off-hours, his vintage ice cream tricycle is stored at MoMo’s BBQ & Grill on 307 Market Street, which also serves Bootlleg’s chocolate and raspberry ice creams on the premises.

“I’m hoping for more exposure this season,” Johnson says.

More exposure may even mean more ice cream carts, he says.  Currently, Johnson is brainstorming about owning a fleet of carts made by local craftsmen and leasing them to individual owners, expanding his business into different markets, including the West Shore.  A second cart on the streets may be seen as early as this summer.

HOURS: 11am-2pm, 4pm-8pm Monday through Friday, downtown Harrisburg.  Weekend hours vary according to local events and the weather. Text Johnson your location for ice cream delivery at 603.801.2420.

This article was first published in The Patriot-News on Wednesday, May 16.


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