We've finally managed to pull off the first phase of a project we've had on the drawing board for about a year now--the Purple Cow is now solar powered! We've tested out the system for four weeks--never touched the generator other than to show it wasn't plugged in! The system is currently powering our freezer, lights, and fans when we're out. Over the season we'll be adding capacity to be able to power other things on the truck as well. As far as we know, the Purple Cow is the only solar powered event truck in Virginia and one of only two solar powered ice cream trucks in the US.
WARNING (GEEK SPEAK): The system consists of two 100w polycrystalline solar panels, each producing about 35Ah of power per day; a voltage controller that converts 17-24 Vdc at varying amperage to 14 Vdc at available power to the battery pack; four 35Ah deep cycle batteries; a 2200W inverter; several fuses and breakers; and the stuff we plug into it! So far, we've run several hours at a stretch barely tickling the batteries. We've even tested it out on the on-board water heater with success! We're pretty proud of our geekdom and are looking forward to revealing the next round!
Abner B's Season is Open!
Our first farmers' market events went well--we thank everyone that came out and look forward to seeing you all again this weekend! We have tried out a few new flavors already - Banana Chocolate Swirl and Apricot Almond. The latter is to be a feature flavor at two local coffee shops... more on that another time! Our market times and locations, and other public events, are listed in the upcoming events area to the below left!
Adventure Brewing Company
We'll be welcoming another local business to the area on May 17th - Adventure Brewing Company. Check out their site for details: Adventure Brewing Company. Don't be overly surprised if we show up with a brew or two of our own based on their creations!
RT 3 / GORDON ROAD FARMERS' MARKET (SATURDAYS 8am-1pm): Our opening date is April 26th (first weekend after Easter weekend). Other than special events that might pop up here and there, we'll roll out Abner B's Butterfield Café every Saturday through the end of September. Same location--centered on the market itself on the downhill end of the lot. NOTE: The RT 3 summer market actually opens on April 12th, so don't wait up for us if you want to get early produce (and coffee, breads/pastries, meats, plants...)
STAFFORD HOSPITAL FARMERS' MARKET (SUNDAYS 8am-1p): Our opening date is April 27th (first weekend after Easter weekend). This will also be a full time market for us except for special events as they come up. NOTE: The Stafford market opens on April 20th (Easter Sunday).
RETAIL MARKETS (PINTS): Our pints are available at the Olde Virginia Gourmet (Rt 610 behind Popeye's, Stafford) and the Olde Towne Butcher (William Street, Old Town Fredericksburg). We have a few others in the works that may also carry our pints this year.
RETAIL MARKETS (BY THE SCOOP): We are currently working on retail scoop locations. We expect Westmoreland Berry Farm to be back on board this year. We have four other guest shops in the works--one in Fairfax, one at MCB Quantico, and two in N. Stafford.
CATERING: In addition to the Purple Cow, we are continuing to roll out our "roll-in" cart that we started taking out at the end of last season. We're already booking events for either or both. We particular want to work on Employee and Customer appreciation type events in June, July, and August (Fab Fridays?). We did several awesome events for Rosner Toyota last year, one for the Spotsy Regional Medical Center, and a few Grand Openings. More info on catered events is on our Events page.
ABNER B SCOOP SHOP #1. No, not yet, but we are actively looking for a location we can expand into as a scoop shop and/or manufacturing location. For the time being, we want to stay in Stafford County, but are flexible north or south.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: We have three returning scoopologists this year--Ryen, Emily, and Eddie. We also have a few others we're giving a trial run to. We're expecting to have more "one-off" events this year and usually have fill-in needs at our farmers' markets. This summer's core crew will likely be our starting crew for a scoop shop if other things work out. If you have an interest.... START HERE.