The Dart: Freddie Hill never dreamed he’d sell ice cream

Published 12:01 am Monday, May 21, 2018

VIDALIA — Freddie Hill never imagined he’d start handing out cold treats instead of cold meats.

Hill was a career butcher before inspiration struck four years ago. Now, he drives the streets of Vidalia delivering ice cream treats — and smiles.

“I love this job,” Freddie Hill said. “In fact, this is my full-time job.

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“It’s a fun, fun job. What’s really hilarious is when you see an 85-year-old come rushing for some ice cream and do a little dance afterward. It’s fun. And I see that every day.”

When The Dart landed on Florida Avenue in Vidalia last week, Hill was making his way to Vidalia Upper Elementary School to try to sell ice cream to the students who were just getting out of school.A typical workday for Hill is driving around town from 1:30 or 2 p.m. until dark. But before he can start serving young and the old customers of Vidalia, he has to drive 25 miles.

“I live Foules, (La.),” Hill said. “It’s near Sicily Island.”

The reason Hill makes the trip to Vidalia, he said, is because he was raised in the city, before moving to Foules 25 years ago.

Hill started his business, which is called “Peace, Love and Ice Cream,” four years ago. And still to this day Hill said he can’t believe he is an ice cream man.

“I never imagined doing this when I was growing up,” Hill said. “I never dreamed it in a million years.”

But after talking to his niece’s dad — who has been an ice cream man for approximately 20 years — Hill was convinced to venture into a new career.

“He kept always bugging me about it,” Hill said. “He always told me I should do this and I would be good at this. I love kids, my wife had a home daycare for about 18 years, so we love kids you know. So I love making a kid’s day. So here we are.”

Although there is not a lot of money in being an ice cream man, Hill said he doesn’t view it as a job because he is having fun while doing it.

He’s ready to create summertime dreams in his green van blaring an ice cream jingle, but, in reality, he says business is better in the winter.

No matter, it’s hot; grab $1-5 — the price range for Hill’s ice cream — and head outside when you hear the truck coming. A smile awaits — for you and Hill.