An encounter with an ice cream van in New York, a conversation with a young nephew and a newborn girl inspired an Oak Harbor couple to create Cosmic Ice Cream.
“We thought it would be something new for Whidbey Island,” said Glaiza Price, a nearly lifelong resident of the island. “It’s an update to the old ice cream truck.”
The space-themed van can produce soft serve ice cream out of the back, in a similar fashion to the one the Prices saw on the East Coast but they hadn’t seen anything like it on the island.
The name itself was chosen after Price’s nephew suggested an astronaut theme. The girl in the space suit featured on the side of the vehicle is for the Prices’ daughter, their first child.
Glaiza and her husband Patrick Price started working on the concept around two years ago. Patrick Price bought the van, which was large enough to fit all the needed equipment, in Minnesota and drove it Oak Harbor.
The process of converting the vehicle to a mobile ice cream shop took Patrick and his father, also named Patrick Price, over a year to complete, Glaiza Price said.
“They pretty much built it from the ground up to what it is now,” she said.
Cosmic Ice Cream made its first appearance during Oak Harbor’s Holland Happening celebration. The business did better than expected, given the rainy weather, Glaiza Price said.
During the Penn Cove Water Festival, the family ran out of ice cream by 4 p.m. that Saturday, an hour before the event ended.
The vanilla soft serve was created using a special recipe made in collaboration with Lopez Island Creamery in Anacortes. The milk used in the dessert comes from a dairy in Lynden. The van offers 24 flavors with the option of adding chocolate, blue raspberry or cherry hard shells and candy, sauces and sprinkles; there is no up charge two additions and a hard shell.
“It’s an update to the old ice cream truck,” Price said. “Instead of just pre-packaged stuff, it’s soft serve and who doesn’t like soft serve?
For now the colorful van will only appear at special events, but Price said she and her husband hope to drive it around like a traditional ice cream truck eventually. Patrick Price works full-time on a tugboat based out of Seattle and Glaiza cares for their 9-month-old daughter full time.