Coming next spring: the Ice Cream Boat in Pittsburg
When you think about a houseboat, naturally you think about either living on one or renting one for vacation. Have you ever considered the potential to turn it into a thriving business? Kevin and Laurie Heenan inspired us with their their Sugar and Spice Ice Cream Boat to start this series ‘Houseboat Stories’.
There are many ways to make a houseboat more than a residence. Capable of moving from location to location, it has the potential to be a roving money-maker. If you are creative enough, it makes good business sense. And that’s exactly what Kevin and Laurie did: think of a creative way to expand their ice cream business by transforming their houseboat in Pittsburg.
Kevin and Laurie, the 'Masters of Ice' in Pittsburg. After their success with the Sugar and Spice Parlour and Truck, it was time for a new challenge: the Ice Cream Houseboat. (photo: Sugar and Spice Ice Cream)
Demand on the water, supply from the houseboat
There are a vast number of things that people need when they are close to the water that a houseboat business can supply. A roving restaurant for people to grab food without having to travel, or a bait and tackle establishment, are just two of them. Both would have an easy time getting off of the ground. The reason a houseboat makes such a good location is specifically because of its location. It allows people to access things they need without traveling. So if there’s demand on the water, supply it from a houseboat!
The 1988 Crest Maurell, model 3514 is transformed into a unique Ice Cream Houseboat in order to shine on the rivers next spring (photo: Sugar and Spice Ice Cream)
Rent or buy a houseboat
The question of renting or owning is a good one, but probably one best answered depending upon the business venture. Starting small is always a good idea, so is not investing more than you have to. In the case of the Sugar and Spice Ice Cream Boat it was a safe bet to start the business with a privately owned houseboat. Kevin and Lauri knew that they had a great product (they a thriving icecream business ever since 1984) and who doesn’t love a nice ice during a day on the water? A match made in heaven!
Using a houseboat to run a business, while using it as a residence may be the best of both worlds. But this really depends on what type of service or product you want to work with.
Start with a business plan
Thinking of starting your own business on the water? The best place to start is by defining a need and then making a business plan about how best to fulfill that need. A houseboat gives those looking for a new venture a whole new area to consider. Highly overlooked bonuses, make those things others overlook their advantage. So we say: why not think of other great things to do with a houseboat!
This is where the ice cream story of Kevin and Laurie started in 1984. (photo: Sugar and Spice Ice Cream)
Name: Sugar and Spice Ice Cream Boat
Owners: Kevin and Lori Heenan
Official website: https://sugar-and-spice51.squarespace.com/
Also featured in: this Post-gazette.com article