Johnny and Janine Oaks definitely hear the screams.
They hear the screams, for ice cream.
This Land O’ Lakes couple tool around in the Land O’ Lakes Ice Cream Truck, selling cold treats.
Whether midweek or on weekends, kids and adults alike, stand in the street, sometimes barefoot, and pass over dollars for an ice cream bar, cup or Dippin’ Dots.
“It’s really great to see kids jump up and down, and even watching mom and dad seeing their kids be happy to get an ice cream,” Johnny said. “We like doing things, and staying active and getting out. I don’t really want to sit around the house in a rocking chair.”
Besides, he said, it’s fun.
Janine added: “I mean, I’m not ready to fully retire yet. We get to pick and choose when we (take the truck out in neighborhoods) and we don’t go every day, but we do it a lot on the weekends, too.
“He’s right, though: it is fun!”
The Land O’ Lakes Ice Cream truck, with Johnny always behind the wheel, will hit varying neighborhoods in East Pasco and Central Pasco, including Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, Wesley Chapel, Trinity, Odessa and even some parts of Spring Hill.
However, the Oaks also are available to be reserved for events and parties.
Janine says several day care centers book the truck, as do local schools for the last day of school.
“Birthday parties really help (business),” Janine said. “It spreads, not really word of mouth, but that we’re available. Because if one party has it, then another kid or parent wants it for their party — they’ll inquire about booking before the party is even over.”
The Oaks have been driving their truck for about three years, ever since a trip to an antique store in Tallahassee had Janine buying some Blue Bell ice cream. It wasn’t before long she was looking up ice cream trucks for sale on eBay and doing research on aspects of an ice cream truck business.
“Well,” Janine joked, “he was retired and needed something to do!”
“We really started doing it all because of her!” Johnny quipped back.
In fact, Johnny and Janine were able to keep doing it during the COVID shutdown when people were required to stay home.
Being careful to always wear a mask and have hand sanitizer available, the Oaks actually experienced a slight COVID boom, since the neighborhoods were full of kids and parents stuck at home.
“We, like everyone else, didn’t know what to expect during that time, but it was actually kind of busy for us,” Janine said.
The truck drives at 10 mph through neighborhoods, ready to serve big crowds of kids.
The Oaks are a spry couple not even thinking about retiring. They’re content to sell ice cream to hungry customers.
“We’re not going to slow down — only to let the kids come buy ice cream!” Janine said.
“Everyone loves our truck,” Johnny added. “Everyone wants us to come to their neighborhood and everyone seems to want ice cream when we come around.
“So,” he said, “we’ll just keep selling ice cream, as long as the truck keeps running.”
Land O’ Lakes Ice Cream
Details: This classic ice cream truck (also featuring Dippin’ Dots) visits various communities in East Pasco and Central Pasco County. It also can be scheduled for events and parties. It accepts cash only.
Owners Johnny and Janine Oaks respond to call and text requests, and can be reached at 813-781-8297, or visit LandOLakesIceCreamTruck.com.
Published June 1, 2022.