mik martSix years ago Mik Bushinski was a sophomore attending private school when he and his mother began putting their heads together to figure out some creative ways to help pay for his education. One of them tossed out the idea of starting an ice cream truck to generate some additional income and Mik Mart Ice Cream was born. Fast forward to 2014 and the business is about to embark on their 6th season serving the Twin Cities metro and now has three vans operating in the summer months.

In this interview,  Bushinski shares what it takes to start, operate, and grow a successful ice cream business. What’s his secret? One of the key points that Bushinski stresses is the importance of getting out their and hitting the streets each day in the summer. Consistent hard work is critical if you want to succeed.

Second, you’ve got to be willing to take on some risk. To get the business off the ground, Bushinski took on a $6,000 loan from his uncle to buy the initial cargo van. It would have been easy to quit before even getting started and instead find a summer job. Fortunately, Bushinski was able to take the risk and make it happen.


You have to be committed to working the neighborhoods every single day. – Mik Bushinski on operations.

The biggest thing  is being able to take a risk and that’s how successful things start.  – Mik Bushinski 

Essential Equipment

  • Cargo vans or other vehicle to get around
  • Freezers (Both on-board the vehicle and for storage)
  • Music horn
  • Power inverter system
  • Serving window
  • Logo, stickers and other signage to display product and prices

What You’ll Learn

  • Why certain events like baseball games haven’t proven profitable locations for Mik.
  • Why neighborhoods are the bread and butter of this type of business.
  • The “secret” to booking more events like birthday parties or corporate gigs with this business.
  • How Mik Mart Ice Cream stores and sources their product.
  • The biggest challenges associated with operating an ice cream business
  • How Mik prevents his product from being melted
  • Why being able to take a risk is essential to start any type of business.
  • Why Mik Mart Ice Cream is expanding into vending machines
  • How Mik’s friends and family have become employees in the business
  • What Mik plans to do after he graduates college… maybe politics.

Mentioned During the Podcast

Mik Mart Ice Cream – This official home of Mik Mart Ice Cream online. Learn more about catering options, routes, and product offering here.

Biz Kid$ Interview – Really cool interview with Mik on a television show called Biz Kid$. Also get a sneak peek of his ice hockey skills.

A cool lesson about cash flow – Interview in the Star Tribune on how Mik started his business.

Ice Cream Trucks for Sale – Looking to buy an ice cream truck? Browse our regularly updated selection of new and used inventory.

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

We interview successful founders and share the stories behind their food trucks, restaurants, food and beverage brands. By sharing these stories, I want to help others get started.

If you liked this story, sign up for our newsletter that includes our food business startup kit and most popular interviews sent straight to your inbox.

Know someone interesting that should be interviewed on the website? Tell us about them here.