Ice cream trucks are a favorite on the side streets of Long Island. Driving up and down neighborhood corridors pushing pre-wrapped treats and soft serve on sweets-obsessed customers, the trucks use goofy music and cartoon character faces with gumball eyes to entice youngsters and adults alike.
Answering the call for a fresh take on treats is a pair of partners in life and desserts, Erica and Stephanie Belk, whose gourmet sweets food truck, Frozen Sin—dubbed “Not Just Another Ice Cream Truck”—is spreading the gospel of indulgence with made-to-order delicious donuts, artisan ice cream sandwiches, decadent frozen custard and aromatic coffees.
Erica, born and raised in Syosset and a graduate of the school district, knew from a young age that the culinary arts—baking, specifically—would be the vehicle for her edible passion. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has studied her craft in Spain before rolling in the dough of eateries in New York City and Huntington.
But she said venturing into the innovative world of food trucks was always a dream.
“I felt like I always had so many ideas to share,” said chef Erica, who set out with her fiancée Stephanie to realize their confectionery dream together. “Both of us are huge foodies. We brainstormed together and made treats for our families and it became Frozen Sin.”
Stephanie, who has lived all over Long Island, said the pair eagerly started this business venture together this past March, when Erica’s parents asked them what type of business held their interest.
“Ice cream has always been a love for both of us,” said Stephanie. “It basically runs in Erica’s genes.”
Erica and Stephanie believe there is a future for food trucks on Long Island. Though county restrictions have made food truck ventures a stop-and-go revolution, they believe influences from the five boroughs and the country at large will soon spread the craze to the island.
“It’s surprising to me that it hasn’t quite taken off yet here,” said Stephanie. “In Orlando, there are food trucks everywhere. Cupcake trucks used to drive onto my college campus. Long Beach is embracing food trucks, but other than that, there is almost no competition for us.”
“[County] law is going to have to jump on the bandwagon,” added Erica. “It’s a great way to get gourmet food quickly. Food truck chefs like myself are trained. It’s not some guy that doesn’t know what to do with himself selling hot dogs. I’ve worked in restaurants and I’ve never worked so hard as I have on the truck. Eventually the island will catch up to the demand; maybe they’ll have to change a few laws.”
Aside from having a deeply rooted love of desserts and all things sweet, Erica also boasts a strong business acumen in her family tree. She said her father is an entrepreneur and all her life, he showed her what it means to be a savvy business owner and how important it is to not only work hard, but to offer something that cannot be found anywhere else.
“We’re coming up with a concept that no one has ever seen before on Long Island,” said Erica. “All of our ice cream sandwiches are formed in the classic Wonder Bread shape and served in butcher paper. Stephanie and my mom came up with that.”
Frozen Sin’s patent-pending ice cream sandwich shapes and flavor concepts are innovative and fun, but the homemade ice cream itself is the true star. All ice cream flavors are dreamed up in the minds of the Belks, and churned into reality by Erica. The chef only uses fresh ingredients in her creations, shying away from lab-based chemical concoctions lurking ominously in the ingredients list on mass-produced ice cream products.
Adhering to a mantra of, “we don’t follow recipes, we create them,” the list of ice cream sandwiches offered by the ladies of Frozen Sin keeps growing and rotating, with standouts including Funfetti, Oreo, peanut butter and jelly, s’mores, cookie dough and chocolate malt to name a few. Outside of ice cream sandwiches, Frozen Sin makes their own mini donuts, custards, floats and one item that can only be described as epic mealtime: a maple bacon croissant sundae.
“It’s really fun to see the reactions of people when they see what we come up with,” said Stephanie. “People are wowed, and we knew they would be. We like to eat and we know good food.”
Like most successful businesses in modern times, Frozen Sin immediately hopped aboard social media to spread the word about their products. They’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @FrozenSinTruck, posting pictures of finished products, sneak peeks at new treats, videos of their mini-donut conveyor belt in action and more.
Erica’s passion as a chef first bloomed during her days in the Syosset school system. She graduated Syosset High School in 2006 and is grateful for all the support she received from teachers and her guidance counselor. During her pre-high school days at Baylis Elementary, Erica remembers being a shy girl with asthma and one teacher in particular—Mrs. Rothstein, now Mrs. Sherman—who took the time to give Erica the extra attention she needed.
“I was this shy little asthmatic girl and she took a vested interest in me. We wound up becoming close friends and she’s coming to the [her and Stephanie’s] wedding,” she said. “Syosset teachers care about their students and when we have a family that is the type of school we want our kids to go to.”
But even one of the top school districts in the country couldn’t fully prepare Erica and Stephanie for the obstacles involved in running a food business, especially one that operates on four wheels.
“There are a lot of challenges, and most you really don’t even think about until the first day,” said Stephanie. “As much research as we did, it’s hard to get an idea of exactly how much power you need to run a fully equipped food truck. We have a full range oven, a stove, donut conveyer belt, a soft serve machine, a freezer and an air conditioner so we don’t die.”
Frozen Sin brings its fully powered food truck in all its decadent glory to various stops on Long Island and they are also available for private parties, weddings, sweet 16s, bar and bat mitzvahs and more; contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-353-8713. Find more info at www.frozensintruck.com.
“We pride ourselves on being different and offering flavors that other companies don’t have,” said Erica. “People ask why we aren’t in the city and we say because we want to be the ones responsible for bringing the food truck craze to Long Island. We believe in ourselves and if we can handle this first year, we are golden.”