YMM Parent Local Business Spotlight – Issue 3
Sunkissed Frosty Treats!
Many things sweet on YMM streets
There’s a piece of nostalgia that comes with hearing ‘La Cucaracha’ playing throughout the neighbourhood from the speakers of an ice cream truck, and when things slowly began to open up after the pandemic shutdown, it was this very cheery tune that helped brighten up the streets in Fort McMurray again.
Behind the wheels of the local ice cream truck business are David and Gail Brace of SunKissed Frosty Treats. Originally from Newfoundland, the couple is celebrating a 10-year milestone for operating in Fort McMurray since 2010.
They run the business together with separate routes around the city to ensure everyone can enjoy their frosty treats from April to fall.
Getting back on the road in 2020 was something the pair had anticipated, though they were unsure of how things would look with the globalized COVID changes. But David said it was their best season in business, thanks to the kindness residents shared with him and his wife.
“When we started, we didn’t know what to expect with all the virus stuff, and we were nervous because the first shipment of the year is always big. We wondered if this was the right thing to do,” David explained to YMM Parent.
“But we saw the warmth, right from the beginning. People made comments by sharing that the first time they heard the music on, there was some normalcy coming back to them that reminded them of the good times. We had a tremendous amount of people tell us that.”
David shared how driving around after the business reopening announcement was a similar feeling to being out again after the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire, which reminded him of an uplifting encounter he had with a senior resident in Timberlea.
“It was on June 14, 2016. We came back to Fort McMurray, and this older lady came out to the van. She walked up to the window. She wasn’t smiling and had a very serious look on her face and said: “My husband and I were just sitting in my living room. I couldn’t believe that I was hearing this sound. Over the years, this sound has annoyed me on many occasions. And today, I have never been so happy. It was the first thing that was normal, and I said to my husband that it will all be behind us before we know it.”
Like many of Fort McMurray residents, the Braces have been through the recent disasters of the fire, pandemic and flood. But David said it’s the people that live here and the kindness they share that keep them coming out each spring.
As for 2020, David said this year in business was over the top with the generosity he and Gail received from customers and residents in the neighbourhoods.
“This year is hard to rate,” he said. “Never before did anyone bring out a cooked dinner for us. The appreciation is hard to describe. There has been kindness everywhere. Even people being more patient on the road when customers are at the truck buying treats.”
Gail shared a heartwarming moment she had with a little boy who was happy to see her ice cream truck.
“There was one little fella who got his ice cream, and he was so excited,” she said. “He was walking back home with his father and turned around and yelled out: “I love you, Ice Cream Truck!” All I could do was smile. We encounter so many of these situations.”
After spending his life working in a physically-demanding position cleaning movie theatres across Canada, David reflects on the last decade of running the local business in Fort McMurray.
“I wanted to find something that was low-stress,” he said. “When you drive the truck and sip on a cup of coffee and see the excitement coming at us from down the street, you have to see it to appreciate it, and I do.”
Did you know that you can bring home the magic of the ice cream truck?
SunKissed Frosty Treats will come right to your door by calling 780-814-5054. The business is also available for birthday parties, family BBQs and other events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
SunKissed Frosty Treats business owners Gail and David Brace have been bringing sweets to city streets for a decade
Ice cream fans come in many forms and costumes, but they all love the treats, especially a pig named Wilbert. Supplied photos