Boulder, Colorado, June 13, 2017 (Newswire.com) - Inserillo's Van, started by Christina Inserillo, is a new mobile shaved ice cream truck in Boulder, Colorado. Inserillo's Van is not just a business but also a community project. In fact, she is asking young people in the community to serve the shaved ice cream while she drives, thereby giving them the opportunity to learn important business skills. But specifically, she is asking them to help when she serves the elderly community in the city, providing them with important social skills as well.
Christina says: "Who doesn't like a snow cone with gorgeous flavors? What I aimed to do was create something that everybody loves, while at the same time helping to improve the community as a whole. Inserillo's Van is there to make sure young people build important skills and get to know the importance of community service. At the same time, I want to make sure that elderly people feel happier and more appreciated once again."
"The young people who come and work for me tend to have little to no work experience. Many are high school dropouts as well. I want them to have this opportunity to turn their lives around and learn important skills, while doing something meaningful for the community at the same time."
Christina Inserillo has worked with community colleges in order to make sure that the work young people do for her is in line with certain training and employment modules. Essentially, she aims for this to become a type of social enterprise, where young people can learn how to act properly, dress for work, maintain a job, search for work and perform interviews.
She says: "The young people who come and work for me tend to have little to no work experience. Many are high school dropouts as well. I want them to have this opportunity to turn their lives around and learn important skills while doing something meaningful for the community at the same time."
While the concept of social enterprises in itself is nothing new, Inserillo's Van is different in that it focuses on quality. Snow cones are quite common and popular, but most are flavored using artificial flavors, colorants, and preservatives. With Inserillo's Van's snow cones, the flavors are made from natural ingredients. In addition, the flavors move away from the standard grape, lime, and cherry. Rather, they have Georgia Peach, Wedding Cake, and Mojito to name a few.
"The second element of my social enterprise is to give young people the opportunity to be creative and to learn cookery and kitchen skills," adds Christina. "I encourage them to experiment and to come up with new flavors. Those who complete a nine-week employment period with me also end up with a food hygiene certificate, which will further benefit their career."
The community has been very enthusiastic about the Inserillo's Van concept; so much so in fact, that many businesses have offered sponsorships in the form of fuel for her van, ingredients, insurance and even cooking equipment. Meanwhile, residential care homes and hospitals have opened their doors to Inserillo's Van and in-home care providers have gathered addresses of people who would be interested in a snow cone and a chat.
One of the young people who was the first to work for Inserillo's Van says: "My life was on a downward spiral. It is all too easy to get trapped in a bad situation. I was pregnant at 15, a high school dropout, and genuinely believed this was my lot. Thanks to Inserillo's Van, however, I have a purpose now. I am currently studying to take my GED and am trying to determine whether I want to study cookery or elderly care afterward. This has really turned my life around.
"It is rare for someone to take a tried and tested concept — shaved ice — and to turn it into something that has such a huge positive impact on the community as a whole. Boulder, Colorado is said to be one of the least friendly places to live in the country; not because of its people, but because of its weather. Yes, it is the hottest city in the country but that doesn't mean it's people aren't welcoming. Plus, we now have delicious snow cones to keep people cool. We hope this will have a positive effect on a wider geographical area as well."
Inserillo's Van is growing rapidly, and there is even a suggestion that a second van will soon be purchased. This has given Christina the idea that she may be able to encourage young people to do the van up, teaching them important mechanical skills.
Source: Christina Inserillo