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Ex-pat launches lollies in La La Land!
Ex-pat Ice cream man Bill Richards has swapped the South Downs for Northern California – and is hoping True Brit 99s, cornets and lollies will go down a treat in Santa Rosa.
The former Worthing businessman will be living the dream – selling traditional soft serve from vintage Bedford ice cream vans he is having specially shipped over.
The colourful, liveried vans complete with jingles will bring the authentic British seaside experience to the Californian shows and markets circuit.
Bill said: “I have been living in the States for almost 30 years, but I came over to the UK a few years back for a holiday with my family - who still live in Worthing.
“We were visiting the steam rally at Wiston Park near Steyning and I spotted a beautifully restored 1970s Mr Whippy van selling ice creams - with a queue of people waiting to buy a 99. While I was queuing I thought to myself, a van like this selling traditional English soft serve in the States would go down really well. We live in Santa Rosa in Northern California and there is certainly nothing like that here!”
Bill launched a search for a genuine 1970s Bedford ice cream van but the few he found were in poor condition. Luckily, brother Ray spoke to a local ice cream vendor in Worthing, who agreed to sell his older vans - one of which he had had since new.
But Bill then faced the problem of getting his vintage vans out to his home in the States.
He called in international auto shipper specialists 1st Move International to whisk the 1974 and 1976 plated Bedford Ice Cream vans out.
Car desk manager Jason de Witt from the Avonmouth-based removal specialists helped arrange the journey.
“We collected the vans from Worthing and they were packed via roll on-roll-off straight from Southampton. It’s great to think of them beginning a whole new life in the United States.”
Auto Shippers has years of experience in shipping all types of moving cargo including motorhomes, trucks, motorbikes, tractors and trailers.
Bill said: “Auto Shippers were really helpful from arranging the pick-up of the vans to take them to the port to setting me up with a broker in the States. I will certainly be using them again when I need replacements!
“It is just amazing to source the vans from the town I grew up in - and probably when I was younger, I actually bought an ice cream from!”
For further details go to www.shipit.co.uk
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