The company known today as DeConna Ice Cream Inc. began in the late 1940s as a small, one-truck vending operation in Miami. Over the years, founder Don DeConna expanded his business to include the manufacturing and distribution of nearly 20 different varieties of ice cream products. Today, DeConna’s tasty offerings can be found in schools, convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, ice cream parlors and hospitals across the southeastern United States.
Throughout years of success and expansion, the family owned DeConna Ice Cream Inc. has remained true to its humble beginnings, the company says. Its current business still focuses on creative vending opportunities across the Southeast. And, as the market for ice cream continues to grow, the company says it remains focused on attracting and retaining relationships with vendors across the South.
In 1991, Vince DeConna purchased DeConna Ice Cream from his father, Don. Soon thereafter, a new generation of business began for the regional ice cream powerhouse. Currently, the company owns and manages a modern cold storage complex on 33 acres in Orange Lake, Fla. The company also has distribution facilities in Tampa and Palm Bay, Fla.
“We distribute a ‘World of Flavors,’” said Vince DeConna, now president of DeConna Ice Cream, said in a statement. “We offer the largest selection of popular products from a single source.”
As DeConna explains, much of the company’s success over the years is due to the distribution methods used by the company to reach different markets of ice cream lovers across the Southeast. In a 2009 interview with Food and Drink, Vince DeConna explained that the company distributes a large portion of its product the same way his father did when he began the business – utilizing personal contact with customers.
However, the company has grown from a one-truck operation roaming the streets of Miami to a multi-truck fleet that spans two states. Throughout the growth the company experienced over the past several decades, it says it was conscious to not lose the personalized feel that customers have become accustomed to.
According to the company, in order to manage the juxtaposition of operating a large-scale company and focusing on the importance of staying personal for customers, DeConna Ice Cream developed a stellar freezer program to distribute products. According to DeConna, the program includes a number of enticing features, such as energy-efficient freezers, point-of-sale materials, freezer promotional programs and a worry-free, no-cost freezer maintenance program. “This has been a successful program for us,” Vince DeConna said. “The profit margin for our freezer program often exceeds the expectations of our vendors.”
In addition to the freezer program, the company offers vendors the opportunity to install DeConna-brand vending machines. “These machines are strategically placed at rest areas, schools and other high-traffic locations throughout the South,” DeConna said. “The vending machines have the capacity to hold 450 units – 18 possible selections – and they’re a proven way to make money without having to put in the long hours associated with many areas of business. Vending machines never stop working to sell product.”
For vendors looking to take part in a bit of nostalgia – while getting in some great exercise at the same time – the company also offers partners the opportunity to rent DeConna Ice Cream brand push carts. According to the company, the push carts rent for $50 per day and include an umbrella and ramps to load and unload the cart. “The pushcart program is suitable for all occasions – from small parties to very large corporate or social gatherings,” DeConna said. “We will provide a clean, attractive, vintage ice cream pushcart and all the highest-quality ice cream products available.”
In an effort to stay current in the expanding dessert market, DeConna Ice Cream has “sweetened” its product offering to include a wide array of food service dessert solutions. Items on the menu now include Key Lime Ice Cream Pie and Mississippi Mud Ice Cream Pie, two popular variations for Southern sweet seekers.