What he did: Marketing consultant Tony Lamb, 43, was kind of puzzled that his kids went crazy when the local ice cream man appeared in his neighborhood in Florence, Ky. "My kids came running out to a broken-down ice cream truck [it wasn't a real Mr. Softee, by the way] with a derelict driving it," says Lamb. Why not something a little different? Cleaner? So in 2008, teaming up with a silent partner, he began selling franchises for Kona Ice trucks, which feature flavored "gourmet" ices for as much as $4 a cup. And then there's Calypso music to replace the familiar ice cream truck jingle. Now Lamb has 270 trucks on the road and says his business is profitable, with sales of $8 million last year. Take that, Mr. Softee!
The challenge: Taking an ordinary commoditized product and making it something special
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