Sweet treats on the go: Sanford woman starts Italian ice truck

Tulip’s Italian Ice will be at Sept. 9 event in downtown Sanford

Tulip's Italian Ice logo (WKMG 2021)

SANFORD, Fla. – Wantina Dawson says as businesses across the country were shutting down during the pandemic, she wanted to bring something happy back to Sanford.

”Most people know when you are having ice cream or if you are having Italian ice, it’s a happy space,” Dawson said.

Now her idea is blooming. Tulip’s Italian Ice will have a soft opening Sept. 9 at Alive After Five in Downtown Sanford. The event runs from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

She says her Italian ice is something you can feel good about.

“You can definitely expect a very premium smooth Italian ice that’s dairy-free, that’s gluten-free, it’s just the perfect treat for anyone.”


If you love it so much that you want to enjoy some later, you can also buy her products by the pint.

After her first event, she says you may spot her at farmer’s markets, local parks or perfectly positioned after kids sporting events, ready to help kids cool off after soccer matches or baseball games.

Tulip’s Italian Ice can also be reserved for corporate events, parties, and weddings. “It actually goes very well if you want to drizzle, for adults, alcoholic beverages on top it doesn’t melt immediately and it’s I guess you could say in-between sorbet and maybe Italian ice with a little more ice, it’s very smooth and it doesn’t melt immediately.”

Dawson is also committed to giving back. She says she plans to drop off Italian ice to homeless shelters and first responders at least quarterly.

Charity is something she has been committed to for a long time. Over the past seven years, she started bringing care packages to nursing homes. She says she was motivated to help when her dad was admitted to one and she saw just how many people’s families had abandoned them and never looked back. Through her ministry Tina’s Toiletries she distributed blankets, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other personal care items to nursing homes in Central Florida and North Carolina, where she is from. She plans to expand those services into a non-profit organization soon and call it Tulip Blooming Ministries.

When it comes to other people wanting to start a business, she says you should always have a vision board, pray and stay consistent.

“My vision board right now is a vision of what I would like over the next 5 years... I keep it front and center... front and center”

You can learn more about Tulip’s Italian Ice at TulipsItalianIce.com.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the 4:30 p.m. newscast and has been with News 6 since January 2019. She also produces Florida's Fourth Estate podcast. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in radio/TV. Tiffany has lived in Central Florida since 2004 and has covered the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials and several hurricanes.