College Creamery: New owners building a family legacy

The keyword is “college.” Lindsay Wheeler, the Wiltonian who founded the Wilton ice cream truck College Creamery, did so as a way of earning money towards education.
Now that she and her partners have graduated, the torch has been passed to the Wiltonian brother-sister-trio Julia, Jack and Justin Lewis, who bought the business with a loan from their father for the same purpose.
The timing, it would seem, was perfect.
“My mom and Lindsay got real close when they were training for the New York marathon,” said Julia Lewis, an incoming freshman at the University of Miami, “and the sale of the truck casually came up in conversation. My mom asked more questions about it and realized that it might be a good fit for our family.”
Seeing as Julia and Jack were about to go to college, and Wheeler was about to graduate and looking to sell, the Lewises decided as a family to invest.
According to Julia, College Creamery is one of the only ice cream trucks in town that serves shaved ice, a treat resembling a snow cone but with ice finely shaved rather than crushed, and has come to be identified with that feature.
“What makes us unique is the shaved ice because most ice cream trucks don’t offer that,” Julia said.
“People in Wilton know about our shaved ice,” she added. “It’s what most kids order when we sell here.”
“It’s a big hit,” added Jack.

A colorful creamery

“With our truck, we try to be inviting,” said Jack, “especially with all the colors.”
College Creamery is decked out with with colored stripes that its new owners believe sets them apart.
“One of the things that people ask when they book us is, ‘Does the truck look like it does in the pictures online?’ I think that the colors are a real advantage to us, because when a parent is booking an ice cream truck for a party, they would rather have a truck with a bunch of fun stripes than they would just a plain white truck,” said Julia.
“We went to a girl’s birthday party once and the girl said that she specifically picked our truck because of the stripes,” Jack said.

The legacy

Julia’s brothers are not yet old enough to drive. Jack Lewis is a sophomore at Wilton High School and Justin is in the fifth grade, so Julia takes the wheel while Jack and Justin handle other sides of the business, like working the cash register, serving customers and keeping inventory.
“I’m the primary driver and my brothers help me out, but when they aren’t around my friends work with me. If I’m not available my parents step in. The great thing about this business is that our whole family’s involved and it has brought us a lot closer despite our busy schedules,” Julia said.
But the same age difference that prohibits divvying up the driving duties will facilitate a Lewis-owned College Creamery legacy. When Julia graduates college, Jack will still be studying. He will run the business until he graduates, at which time Justin will take the reins.
“Right now, I’m mainly in charge,” said Julia. “For the next four years, during the summers of my time at college, I’ll be working it, but once I get a real job, Jack’s gonna become the main person, and the money will go towards his tuition, and once he’s done, it will go to our youngest brother, Justin. So it will stay in the family.”
“It’s spaced out perfectly,” Jack pointed out.

A busy bunch

Though on a regular day you might see College Creamery roaming the streets, looking for kids to sell to, hopping from sporting event to sporting event, the ice cream truck does not survive solely on drive-bys.
Since purchasing the business this spring, the Lewis trio has been booked multiple times, for a variety of different types of events.
“We’re often hired for private parties such as birthdays, communions, graduations, office parties, family reunions, team dinners and summer club events,” said Julia. “We’ll also be out and about town selling at Merwin Meadows and all the athletic fields.”
In addition, the new owners of College Creamery have been hired for several corporate events, at offices such as AmeriCares, Tracey Locke, Carolee and NEP Studios.

Why fix what’s not broken?

Though the Lewises plan to take the business further than it has ever been, that day is yet to come.
“For the time being we plan to keep things pretty much the same,” said Julia. “Lindsay and the other girls did the hard job of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. We might tweak things here and there but we aren’t rushing into that. The only thing we’ve added is vintage candies to go along with the vintage theme of the truck, such as Pop Rocks, Fun Dip, Pixy Sticks, which have been huge hits!”
The College Creamery trio plans to stay local.