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Posted on Fri, May 31, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Hello! Ice Cream: Ann Arbor entrepreneur launches Italian-style ice cream business

By Lizzy Alfs


Italian-style ice cream -- or gelato -- from Ann Arbor's Hello! Ice Cream.

Hello! Ice Cream Facebook

Ann Arbor entrepreneur Margaret Schankler hopes to put a fresh twist on the traditional ice cream truck with her new venture: Hello! Ice Cream.

Schankler launched the Italian-style ice cream business in late 2012 after two years of research and development. It will make its first debut at the Kerrytown Market & Shops on Saturday during the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

“I asked myself, ‘what would be the most fun job you can think of?’ ” Schankler explained. “And the answer was to drive a vintage ice cream truck.”

Instead of opening a brick-and-mortar ice cream shop, Schankler likes the flexibility of an events-focused business. Hello! Ice Cream is available for catering and events, and pick-up or delivery orders. The Hello! Ice Cream cart and truck — a restored 1965 International Harvester Metro Van named Ingrid — also are popping up at farmers markets and businesses around Metro Detroit.


The vintage-inspired Hello! Ice Cream truck, named Ingrid.

Hello! Ice Cream Facebook

The company’s products, which include dozens of varieties of gelato, sorbetto, ice cream, gelato cakes and other frozen treats, are made fresh to order and Schankler likes to experiment with “quirky” toppings and flavors, according to the company’s website. Schankler sources ingredients from local dairy farms and uses local fruit when it’s in season. The result, she said, is a “fresher, better-tasting product.”

“I’m a local business, so it just makes sense to support other local businesses and local farmers when I can,” she said.

Some flavors include: strawberry, zabaglione, sesame fig, raspberry chocolate, salted caramel, pistachio, chocolate espresso stout and lemon stracciatella.

Hello! Ice Cream appeared at Ann Arbor’s Sweet Heather Anne bakery on North Main Street and at Detroit’s Eastern Market. Schankler is planning to bring the truck to a pop-up at the Produce Station on Ann Arbor’s South State Street on June 23. The truck will also begin appearing at the Wednesday Evening Farmers Market in Ann Arbor starting June 19.

“When people think of ice cream trucks, they think of Good Humor or convenience store items like pre-packaged popsicles and ice cream bars. I love that stuff and that whole experience, but what I aim for is a bit more sophisticated,” she said.

She added: “The truck offers the nostalgia and visual appeal of an old-time dairy, but serves gelato and special treats with complex ingredients.”

The Hello! Ice Cream cart will be inside the Kerrytown Market & Shops from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 1. Follow Hello! Ice Cream on Twitter and Facebook for updates and event information.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Kind of a dumb name for a business.

Cameron McLain

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

In your not so humble opinion, which I assume very few care about.


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Wasn't there a gelato store on Liberty a few years ago? I think it went out of business. Don't remember the name. Good luck to this new venture. Keep your prices reasonable, and you will do well. Though I doubt that will be the case if it's at the Farmer's Market and anywhere near Zingerman's.

Cameron McLain

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

the gelato place next to cottage in has been absolutely thriving. Never seen lines like that on any given weeknight, for gelato specifically.

Jim Burdelski

Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

How about calling it Gelato, not ice cream . Si?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

Since it is "italian-style", I wonder if it really is gelato.

Joe Hood

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

I wonder what Faz would think of the name (as in Hello Faz pizza).

Basic Bob

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

gelato is not originally from italy. they got it from new jersey! so what kind of music should they play? springsteen would be good, but never bon jovi.

Margaret Schankler

Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Close, Bob. There is an NJ connection here. I grew up in New Jersey, but gelato originated in Italy.

Tom Teague

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Supposedly, Catherine de Medici enjoyed gelato now and then. Before she moved to France that is. So, that was around 1547 which predates New Jersey. Maybe there's some gelato technique that was exported back to Italy?


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

Really, please supply info on how that is, thanks.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

I would have appreciated having some information on the prices of her products. I couldn't find the information even on her website.


Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Thanks, Margaret, for the response. That is the information for which I was looking. I look forward to trying your product at some point in the near future. By the way, it is @DBH not @DHB, @UpperDecker's suggestion notwithstanding (on the Comments Moderation site). Don't worry about it; you are not the first.

Margaret Schankler

Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

Hi @DHB. When we sell individual servings at a market pr public event, they range from $2.50 to $6 each. I decide what to make a few days before the market and don't have a set product list. I vary it for each type of market as different things sell better in different settings, etc. The website shows pictures of the most popular flavors and should give you a good idea of the types of things we offer. The actual menu is several pages long! I'm happy to send you one if you want to e-mail me!


Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 4:23 a.m.

Watch out for your wallet when business people will not gladly tell you the cost of their product.


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

Thanks, Lizzy, for inquiring. I don't foresee the need for her services (i.e., catering) in the near future, at least, but one never knows. I actually was wondering what the price range (roughly) was for her products she made, or will make, available at the public locations (e.g., Farmers Market).


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

"It can vary" most prices at the Farmer's Market. I never buy anything without a posted price.

Lizzy Alfs

Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

@DBH: I asked Margaret for prices, but because she is mostly a catering company, she said she doesn't post them online and it can vary. Her email is on the Hello! Ice Cream website and she could definitely help you, though.

Ryan Munson

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

Ooh, Look what I'm having with my Roos Roast coffee.

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

Love the truck! Maybe they need a spot on Mark's Carts lot?

Steve Krause

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

So now we've got "Hello! Ice Cream" in Ann Arbor and (coming very soon) "Go! Ice Cream" in Ypsi. I sense an "ice-cream-off" in the near future, but probably not a race since "Go!" is all about ice cream delivered on a bike. ;-)

Cameron McLain

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Awesome to hear they have been working together. Im still up to see a race! I think someone on a road bike might be able to take a 45mph max truck!


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

Great idea! Although, Hello! and Go! have been meeting and tasting each others creations and sharing ideas and resources for a few months now. So it might be less of an "ice-cream-off" and more of an ice cream summit!

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Yes, good point about Go! Ice Cream. Concentrate Media wrote an article on that business:

Judi Speir-Crawford

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

How about coming to Dexter? What a cool idea (pun intended) . Can't wait to see the truck; it will be as much an event as the ice cream.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

Great idea, as long as it's not $15 for a small!! Love the truck idea, innovative Ann Arbor treat.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

I heart that truck!


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

Gelato is great, but what music will the truck play? ;-)


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

Anything but good day sunshine by the beetles is fine with me. Our ice cream man when I grew up played that same song for like ten years. Thanks Harold! Ugh


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

anything Italian.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

"Vesti la Giubba"!


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

"O sole mio" !


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

I too am looking forward to this --- I'm wondering how will we know where to find it though? or, does it find us?! :) Best of luck to you --- a very cute truck --- with a very great idea!

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Follow the company on Twitter or Facebook. They also post where the truck will be.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Great idea and I hope his gelato is spectacular. "Schankler likes to experiment with "quirky" toppings and flavors" Great gelato does not need any adornment. Real gelato is made fresh daily. That is key to making it great.


Sat, Jun 1, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Toppings are usually cheap, but they are added to raise the price. Unfortunately.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

Will the truck drive through any neighbourhoods besides Burns Park, Water Hill, and Ye Olde West Side?

Margaret Schankler

Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

The truck will only be at special events and parked at businesses who want to host it. It will not be driving around neighborhoods. Ice cream trucks are permitted by Ann Arbor ordinances, but they can only stop for 5 minutes in any spot and can't return closer than 200 feet from that spot for 2 hours.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

@fjord: Trolls. Get used to it.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Downvoting me? Really? What did I say that's controversial? It's not my fault that Ann Arbor prohibits food trucks.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

I remember reading on this site that Ann Arbor prohibits food trucks (which is one reason Mark's Carts exists), and I'm sure this truck would be classified as such. She seems to be getting around the prohibition by parking the truck at local businesses or events, rather than driving around town and stopping randomly to serve customers.

David Muzzatti

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

Why not call it, "Ciao! Ice Cream"???


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Or better yet, "Ciao! Gelato"?

Mike Nowak

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

I think Full Body Auto on Rosewood restored the truck.

Margaret Schankler

Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Yes, Full Body Auto on Rosewood did the restoration. They were great to work with and I like to believe they love Ingrid as much as I do. I'd highly recommend them to anyone taking on a restoration project.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11 p.m.

It better be. It's the only way he will make a profit. I like the idea but theres a reason why you don't see good humor trucks anymore.

Dan Darbor

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

It was unusual to see two International Harvester Metro vans together on Rosewood - one at Full Body and the Roos Roast Lobsterbutterlovemobile.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

Sounds really nice, but I bet it's expensive.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

It isn't a meal, it's a treat.

Linda Peck

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

The truck is very cute! What a sweet idea!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

What fun! I'll have to find the truck and enjoy the treats. Good luck!


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 10:13 a.m.

Seems cool...hopefully for Ms. S there's a market for this...out of curiosity is the truck driven or trailered to events?

Margaret Schankler

Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

We drive it to events in the Ann Arbor area, but trailer it to events in Metro Detroit, etc. Ingrid has her original engine, which is in great shape, but she tops out at 45 mph!