Brenda zook 46 yd1tao

Brenda Zook

Image: Gene Pollux

“They’re genuinely kind,” says Brenda Zook of her young customers. “They’re sweet.” So, too, are the products they buy from Zook and her B’s Cool Treats ice cream truck.

In five years of business (after a 25-year career as an electronics technician), Zook tends to see children at their best—whether they’re helping a sibling decide on a treat or pooling their money on behalf of a kid with no cash. In one neighborhood, Zook lets a couple of little regulars onboard to serve their friends through the window. “They do the money and everything,” Zook says. At another spot, a young man with autism became so comfortable with the bright orange-and-yellow truck that he would approach and order all by himself, with his mother watching from the window.

Grownups, too, smile at Zook’s arrival—in no small part because she serves Good Humor products along with a heaping helping of nostalgia. One older customer told Zook he’d met his wife at a Good Humor store. He paid for a single treat with a $20 bill and told Zook to keep the change.

“Grumpy people just don’t come up to my truck,” she says.

You can find Zook’s and other trucks in many Sarasota neighborhoods this summer; or catch her at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market on Wednesdays or the downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

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