The Main Stream

Apr 16, 2013 9:59 AM

Cherry on Top: Sahuarita couple's ice cream business takes off

TUCSON- Ice cream doesn't get any more old fashioned than Isabella's Ice Cream.

The small business started three years ago, after an ice cream truck drove by Dominic Johnson's Rancho Sahuarita home. "I said to my wife, if someone could come up with a non-creepy ice cream truck, you'd have a business on your hands," Johnson says.

"I just said okay, that's great, you do that," says Johnson's wife Kristel.

Despite Kristel's reservations, Johnson carried on with his plans.

He is a three time Olympic pole vaulter for St. Lucia and three-time NCAA All-American who attended The University of Arizona. "If you knew pole vaulters you wouldn't think it was that odd," Johnson says.

He bought a 1920s Model T Ford and converted it into an electric truck, which carries "Isabella's Ice Cream", named after their oldest daughter. "If you would have told me when I was in college that I'd be driving an ice cream truck in 10 years, I wouldn't have believed you," Kristel says.

But today Kristel is at the center of the operation. She spends several days a week in a kitchen at El Mercado San Agustin, making the ice cream. They sell it right out of the truck. "We do private catering events, corporate events, parties, weddings, celebrations," Kristel says.

The ice cream comes in all sorts of flavors and it's made with natural ingredients, all bought locally. "It's a happy business, ice cream is really happy," Kristel says. "It's great interacting with the people and seeing everyone. It's a lot of fun."

Isabella's Ice Cream is sold at Rincon Market, Time Market, 4th Ave Co-op, and Maynards Market. The Johnsons are also working on a deal with Whole Foods in Tucson.

Next, they would like to expand their trucks to other cities across the United States.

For more information please email:, call 520.440.2650, or visit


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