BY Beth Schwartzapfel
September 01 2009 3:55 PM ET
The tinny song of an ice cream truck -- to some, it says childhood and summer; to Doug Quint, it screams gay. “The tune is so queer,” he quips. He should know. The mastermind and driver of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck—the newest addition to the New York food scene -- is a Juilliard-trained bassoonist. He knew he’d need a day job this summer, and when the opportunity arose to drive one of the city’s Mister Softee trucks, he had a vision -- why not take the sweet stuff and brand it with a twist?
Like any ice cream truck that meanders through New York, this one has soft serve and milkshakes. What sets it apart are streamers, big gay signs on the truck, and toppings like Trix, cayenne pepper, and a sweet balsamic reduction.
“Putting those things together -- it’s a mixed-up, urban thing to do,” says Quint, who’s gay and partnered.
When Quint launched BigGayIceCreamTruck.com in April, he didn’t yet have his vendor’s license. And yet the blogosphere buzzed. One tweeter gushed, “OMG it’s gay and offers bacon as a topping.”
It was sunny and warm when the truck launched at Brooklyn Pride in Prospect Park -- a perfect day for ice cream. “People come up to the truck and just laugh,” Quint says. “It makes them happy.”