Nutty ice cream business thinks Isuzu NLR 200 is a cool idea

about-macadamia-nuts-ice-cream-and-an-isuzu-truck-jtldgthb (1)Macadamia nuts, the only native Australian plant that has been developed commercially for food, are most commonly grown in areas such as south eastern Queensland.

This is where Anthony and Teena Mammino, on their farm just south of Bundaberg, produce their highly sought after gourmet ice cream, in which locally-grown macadamia nuts are a key ingredient.

Their business, Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream, is a favourite stopping point for people passing by their farm. But Anthony and Teena cater for a much wider market, not only via retailers, but also at events throughout Queensland, from their Isuzu NLR 200 ice cream van.

While Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream has become very well known throughout the region, it started from humble beginnings when the future of the large family owned sugar cane farm was being threatened by low sugar cane prices.

As some macadamia trees were growing on the farm in areas unsuitable for sugar cane, the family started to sell the macadamia nuts as a small side business.

To further contribute to the farm’s income, 20 years ago Teena started experimenting with an old family ice cream recipe by including the farm-grown macadamia nuts in the ingredients.

According to Anthony, the ice cream became very popular amongst locals and they started a home business.

“We converted our garage into a manufacturing area. After six months, we started catering at small events in Childers,” he said.

“We invested in a small freezer trailer which we carted all across the state on the back of a Toyota dual cab ute. Then we started attending bigger and more distant events, hiring freezers on site and travelling overnight.”

With this growth, Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream required a larger vehicle to transport and deliver product, and to sell from at events. In May, the business purchased an Isuzu NLR 200 Short AMT to fill this requirement. The truck holds twice the amount of products in its eutectic refrigerated body as its predecessors.

“The body was imported from Italy and can hold approximately 6,000 units of our 150ml tubs. It has lockable compartments for easy storage,” Anthony said.

Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream supplies cafes, restaurants and local supermarkets with its products. Bundaberg Rum also works with the business to create a special rum-based ice cream.

Anthony said that when he was in the market for a truck, he looked at several options before choosing Isuzu.

“With six ladies on staff, we needed flexibility in a vehicle without a trailer, so that it would be easy for them to set up at events,” Anthony said.

“The NLR 200 is a perfect fit for our business. It’s proving to be a reliable workhorse.

“It’s great that we don’t require a special truck license to drive the NLR, and its automatic transmission and good visibility make driving easy. I have driven the truck through road works and found it has good stability.

“On the long drives, the truck is very comfortable, offering a lot of space in the cab, cruise control and all of the creature comforts. The head lights are also very good at night.

“We also chose this truck due to its serviceability and cost of parts.”

Anthony said the NLR 200 handles its load with ease.

“We needed a truck that could carry the body that we required. You wouldn’t even know the load is on the back. Its weight isn’t an issue,” Anthony said.

Since the business has been using the Isuzu truck, Anthony has noticed an increase in sales.

“The truck is eye catching, so people notice it. It’s a very good looking truck,” Anthony said.

Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream chose to add an Isuzu bullbar, tinted windows and a tow bar to the NLR 200 as optional extras; the company has also invested in an extended warranty for even greater peace of mind.

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