Scorching Climate Means Massive Enterprise For Native Ice Cream Vans

The heat wave that Boston witnessed started summer faster than expected, with temperatures in the 90s people in search of every kind of relief. A business that may benefit greatly from the hot streak? Ice cream truck.

Kids were running up and down the play sets and cooling off on the Splash Plad in Jean B. Waldstein Park in Brookline on Monday when Zack Khatatbih pulled up in his ice cream van, causing several young, eager customers to drop their jobs and to sprint with cash in hand to the sound of jingles from the speakers of the vehicle.

For Khatatbih they were welcome, busy days.

“Yes, during the heat wave everyone calls us to book us for events and we also have our own spots to go to,” he said. “And it was really extremely busy with the heat wave.”

Khatatbih said he has been in the ice cream truck business for over 30 years. But last year was a tough one as the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically cut the time he could spend with customers.

“Last year we operated on (for a very, very short time),” he said.

But now that the state lifted most of its COVID restrictions just in time for warmer weather, things are starting to normalize again. Khatatbih says he has had several corporate events as well as birthday parties in the past few days. But he just hopes that when he rolls into the parks on hot days, he continues to be welcomed as warmly as he was at Brookline.

“I just advise people to stay in the shade, stay cool,” he said. “Get some ice cream – if you can afford it – to cool yourself off.”

A delicious but short-lived popsicle.

Esteban Bustillos / GBH News

In the spirit of summer, GBH News bought a Spider-Man popsicle from Khatatbih’s store, at full price, of course.

Unfortunately, it fell off the stick after just a few bites.

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