Auburn food truck wins national competition, owners head for New York
by Becky Hardy / CAMPUS REPORTER
Sep 25, 2012 | 1863 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Honeysuckle Gelato sells various types of ice cream and sorbets and has been present on campus for almost a year. (Danielle Lowe / ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR)
Honeysuckle Gelato sells various types of ice cream and sorbets and has been present on campus for almost a year. (Danielle Lowe / ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR)
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Honeysuckle Gelato, a shop operating one of Auburn’s food trucks, won a trip up North to learn business tricks from the best.

The company applied for a contest through city guide website DailyCandy, that could bring them to New York City for seminars with industry experts.

“We will attend what DailyCandy calls the ‘academy’ and get to talk to people at their events that have been successful with growing their small businesses,” said Wes Jones, partner of Honeysuckle Gelato.

Some of the experts include Matt Stinchcomb, inventor of Etsy, Gail Simmons, from Bravo, Food and Wine, and Ted Gibson, creator of Ted Gibson Beauty.

“Some of the mentors in the past have been people like Sara Blakely, the woman who invented Spanx,” Jones said. “Other people that will be there are the people from a famous cupcake place in Washington, D.C., called Georgetown Cupcakes, so I know that they will probably be the people that we are assigned to and can help us out on advice on online sales and retail sales.”

A gala will also be held in honor of all the winners, but the most important prize is exposure on DailyCandy, Jones said.

“DailyCandy has millions of subscribers all across the country,” Jones said. “It will help give us exposure to a lot of different markets that we currently don’t have any exposure in.”

Honeysuckle Gelato has only been a part of the frozen treats scene for a year now.

The gelato business all started when Jones and a childhood friend, Jackson Smith, joked about starting their own business.

“(Smith and I) talked about it more and more, and before we knew it we started researching and fundraising,” Jones said. “We both ended up quitting our jobs, and Jackson moved back to Atlanta.”

Soon after the two started the business they welcomed Khatera Ballad as their third partner.

“And the rest is history,” Jones said. Honeysuckle Gelato has more than 108 flavors and pulls their inspiration from their everyday life.

“We make a lot of flavors from foods we liked as a kid and types of desserts we like to eat that you don’t necessarily find as an ice cream or a gelato flavor,” Jones said. “We try and figure out ways we can try to turn that into a gelato.”

Honeysuckle also makes sure they add seasonal flavors.

“With the holidays coming up we have pumpkin, sweet potato and peppermint flavors,” Jones said.

Honeysuckle Gelato’s main business is to sell to restaurants in the area, but the partners jumped at the chance to send a truck to Auburn.

“We would love to be on campus at Auburn during the school year,” Jones said. “We would like to try out any other college campuses in the future.”

Honeysuckle Gelato hopes to stay a part of the Auburn family for a long time, Jones said.

“We love being at Auburn, and if we can find a home for the truck there, we’d love to keep it there,” Jones said.
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