Rosie's Ice Cream bringing cool treats to Pine Belt

By HASKEL BURNS,

Just in time for summer, Carrie Creel is bringing a new way to beat the heat to residents around the Hub City.

After planning out the details for the last few months, Creel recently opened Rosie’s Ice Cream, a mobile ice cream truck that has been making its way around different communities in Hattiesburg. During the last two weeks, the truck has visited neighborhoods like Innswood, Bent Creek and The Avenues, and participated this week in the Parade of Champions by setting up at Hawkins Elementary School.

“For a very long time, I’ve had this dream of having my own ice cream truck, and doing my own business,” said Creel, who worked as a registered nurse. “I really enjoy making people happy, and as a nurse, you’re always helping people – you’re always doing something to make people feel better.

“So this is a simple way of making people happy. I can do it on my own terms, keep my own schedule. And it’s fun; we’re having a blast.”

Rosie’s Ice Cream offers fare like Good Humor, Blue Bunny, Haagen-Dazs, Bomb Pops and Klondyke ice cream bars, as well as a small selection of candy. In addition, every dog that visits the ice cream truck gets a complimentary Milk-Bone treat.

“It’s popular stuff that’s pre-packaged and easy to sell,” Creel said. “I want to keep the price very reasonable – I don’t want (the price) to be so high that people can’t have fun and enjoy it and get want they want.”

Creel decorated the ice cream truck with the help of graphic artist Cat Redmond of Signs First in Hattiesburg, who added pictures, graphics and color to the unit. The business is named after Rosie, a rescue dog Creel found on the highway.

“She is just the sweetest thing – she loves people,” Creel said. “When I decided to do this business … I couldn’t decide what to name it, and I couldn’t decide kind of the theme I wanted to go with.

“And every night, I would be on the computer, researching and studying and deciding things about my business, and (Rosie) would sit there right with me. One night, I just looked down and I said, ‘well, I think I have a name – it’s going to be Rosie’s Ice Cream, and Rosie’s going to be a part of it.’”

Creel regularly updates the Rosie’s Ice Cream Facebook and Instagram accounts to let customers know when and where they can find the truck out and about throughout town.

“Since we started, I’ve just been playing it by ear,” she said. “I’m sure the schedule will kind of gel with time. But the kids have still been in school, so in the afternoons I’m going out after school, and I’m announcing on the Facebook page and Instragram where we’re going to be going.

“I’ve had different requests … so it’s just been where people have requested and where I can get to. And then I’m doing birthday parties and events like (the Parade of Champions), and I’m actually going to make some posts about the birthday parties to put on Facebook.”

Rosie’s Ice Cream spent part of Tuesday evening on Wildwood Trace, where Creel served a birthday party at the home of Julie Burks.

“I saw (Rosie’s Ice Cream) on Facebook a few days ago … and I messaged (Creel) and told her I had a party coming up, and that I’d love for her to come,” Burks said. “She’s very easy to work with, very easy to schedule, and she came right on time.

“I think it’s huge. It’s a lot easier than going out and getting ice cream and scooping it and putting it in a bowl. This is very easy.”