For the love of Ice Cream

Picture this – a hot day in Tantallon, just back from the beach, with the sun beating down on you. What kind of treat can put a pep in your step and bring joy to your taste buds? In rolls Cool Bus Treats, decked out like a 60’s diner, scooping ice cream and serving floats.

Entering its third season, Cool Bus Treats has experienced rapid growth and continued success. “A slow day at the business now, outperforms what was considered one of my “good’ days in my first season. On a busy day, I’m scooping 300 to 400 ice creams” said owner, Darrell Smith.

Darrell understands that the leap to entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Running your own business requires a lot of time and effort – you need to prepare for the curveball’s life throws at you – like a global pandemic. “Having the passion isn’t enough, you need the support of others for your business to be successful, luckily for me I’ve found that support.” says Darrell.

One-way customers have been showing their support is through social media. “We’ve seen an increase in business from customers sharing their experience on their personal TikTok and YouTube accounts. It makes you feel like a local celebrity. All of that because I scoop some ice cream?” said Darrell.

New beginnings

Darrell Smith first walked into the CUA Tantallon branch looking for a car loan after a challenging couple of years. Darrell’s relationship with CUA started well before he decided to open his own business. Working together with one of CUA’s Financial Advisors they were able to get Darrell his first CUA “yes”. That is where the relationship started and when he and his family moved to the Tantallon area in 2013, moving the rest of their banking to CUA was the obvious choice. Fast forward to 2019, after several years of building a strong relationship with the CUA Team, Darrell decided to make the jump to entrepreneurship.

“I’ve been dreaming of owning a food truck for 10 years,” said Darrell. “When CUA told me “yes”, it was an amazing and scary experience, but it was the leap of faith that I needed. Without their yes, it wouldn’t have happened”. When Darrell became his own boss, he took control over his life in a way he never could in his previous career.

“You always hear entrepreneurs say they work twice as much - and I don’t disagree with that. But I’m doing something that I want to do, so it doesn't feel like work. I love seeing the smiles customers have when they see how big their ice cream is or visit for the first time.” Darrell said.

For the love of family and ice cream

As Cool Bus Treats started to take shape, Darrell’s two daughters, loved learning about the business. They now work alongside him during the summer and Darrell couldn’t be happier with their enthusiasm, especially as his oldest daughter has become more like a partner than an employee.

When asked “why ice cream?”, Darrell laughed and said “why not ice cream? Driving the bus and scooping ice cream puts the biggest smile on my face... But I’ve never been so anxious about the weather. I wish it could be sunny everyday!”

Driving forward

Now instead of working for someone else everyday, Darrell gets to spend his time scooping his favourite food with his favourite people. When the ice cream season comes to an end, Cool Bus Treats will hit the brakes, but not for long. They have plans to expand their menu and who knows, maybe another bus or two down the road.

“I’m so thankful for everybody that has helped me along the way. With the support of CUA, my customers and local businesses, I’ve been able to chase my dreams and grow my business” Darrell said.

Learn more about CUA's commercial services, including account and financing options for your business needs.

More stories »


Find Branch/ATM

Enter address, postal code or branch name