When few summer jobs were to be found, Jackson Poole decided to make his own. Literally.
Jackson had his own old-fashioned bike ice cream cart custom built, created his own logo (which his mom – owner of PS Paper – helped him design), contracted with Three Twins to sell their ice cream, and pedals around town pedaling fare from Jackson's Ice-Cycle.
"When I was little there were always ice cream trucks, but there were never any good ice cream trucks," said Jackson, a 15-year-old San Anselmo resident who will be a sophomore at The Bay School in the Presidio this fall.
First, Jackson considered doing a shaved ice cart, but it was too expensive. Three Twins – an organic ice cream maker with a shop in Terra Linda – offered the high-quality product that Jackson was looking for, though, and was willing to work with the intrepid student.
"No other cart has [Three Twins]," he said.
In fact, there are no other organic ice cream carts in the county and, certainly, no bike ice-cream carts.
The custom built bike cart cost "a lot," said Jackson, but it comes with three gears and is perfect for covering more ground than a regular pushcart. Hills, though, can be difficult to maneuver. The cart can also be hard to cycle when you have a hairline crack in your knee from a bike accident.
In order to sell his ice cream cups and sandwiches at Memorial Park yesterday, Jackson relied on a friend to help him push the cart from his house.
Once at the park, though, the ice cream and the well-designed cart sell themselves. Five-ounce ice cream cups in a variety of flavors sell for $2.50; ice cream sandwiches and ice cream sundae cups (ice cream, chocolate syrup, cookie crumbs and whip cream) sell for $4.50.
Nearly 1,200 cups have been eaten this summer, Jackson calculated. Though sometimes kids are drawn to the traditional ice cream trucks with their bright colors and fancy shapes, Jackson said, the parents like the organic high-quality alternative. And once the kids try his ice cream they even tell their friends it's better.
"Actually, they think it's better," he said.
Jackson expects to break even by the end of this upcoming week and make between $500-$1,000 as the summer draws to a close.
But, next year, he has even bigger plans.
Now, that the ice-cycle has already been built, the company registered with the town and county, then next year he'll be back biking his cart around town. But, next summer, he plans to expand and get another cart. The new challenges of hiring staff are nothing a future businessman can't handle.
"I kind of wanted to make my money myself," he said.
He's already survived the hardest part: not eating all the ice cream himself in the warm summer days. Though he has tried everything he offers, Jackson usually limits himself to one thing of ice cream per day.
"I require one sundae cup a day," he said.
It's a perk of the job he created for himself.
Follow Jackson's Ice-Cycle on facebook and get updated on his routes.