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Brand New Big Softy ice-cream van kicks off warm spring days with fresh soft serve around Geraldton suburbs

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
The well-known ice-cream van had a revamp by owner Mark Hutchins.
Camera IconThe well-known ice-cream van had a revamp by owner Mark Hutchins. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton suburbs have been a little tasteless the last four months, but rest assured Big Softy is back on the road serving up fresh soft serve ice-cream in time for the warmer weather.

The soft serve ice-cream van had a makeover and began whipping up its classic treats last Wednesday. The van was on the road trialling the brand new equipment in all-white before Kick Solutions detailed the van’s design.

The new soft serve ice-cream van in town.
Camera IconThe new soft serve ice-cream van in town. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

Business owner Mark Hutchins decided to semi-retire after having a serious accident while working on his roof.

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“I fell off a roof at home and broke four ribs, punctured my lung and even had some internal injuries. I realised the next day that due to a stroke of luck I had survived,” he said.

Serving ice-cream was the best job Mr Hutchins said he had ever had, because he loved soft serve and never had to deal with a grumpy customer.

The new soft serve ice-cream van.
Camera IconThe new soft serve ice-cream van. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

“My wife and I used to drive around looking for the ice-cream van, and one day she tagged me in a Facebook post hiring casual drivers as a joke,” he said.

But since serving the community ice-cream his wife Maria said he was a happier man.

Mr Hutchins said he eventually bought the business from Michael Trowbridge — known as the Big Softy — who sadly passed away behind the wheel on November 3 last year.

The new soft serve ice-cream van.
Camera IconThe new soft serve ice-cream van. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

Mr Hutchins said he continued to use the Big Softy logo in tribute to Mr Trowbridge.

The brand new van worked out to cost about $130,000 including all accessories and will be in good working order as the weather warms up.

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