Most New Yorkers are inveterate walkers (no, not the Walking Dead kind), pounding the pavement to get to our destinations, come hell or high water. Though we luckily have not experienced flooding lately, many would argue that summer in the city is sometimes a kind of hell, especially days when the mercury climbs beyond 90. Fortunately we have access to fast relief—ways to cool down without interrupting our busy schedules—in the form of street vendors. Kelvin Natural Slush, resplendent in its cheerful blue truck and new stationary stand, is a particularly enjoyable respite from the heat.
A purveyor of all-natural frozen slush beverages in a variety of unique flavors (Spicy Ginger, Tangy Citrus, and Green & Black Tea), Kelvin has been racking up such culinary honors as a Best Dessert Vendy Award and the About.com Readers’ Choice Award for Best NYC Food Truck, since the company got rolling in 2010. This summer Kelvin opened its first permanent Manhattan location, the “Ice Cube,” located at Little Red Square Park, Bleecker Street and Sixth Avenue.
Kelvin, founded and owned by former lawyer Alex Rein, is named after “the coldest thing we could think of . . . absolute zero,” says Rein. That would be 0 K on the Kelvin temperature scale (-459.67°F), which itself is named after celebrated engineer and physicist Lord Kelvin.
Rein had always enjoyed slushes as a kid and envisioned a more grown-up, less surgery version. After musing on the idea for a few years, he finally decided to take the plunge and came to Baruch’s Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship for help in making his idea a reality. “We first started talking to Ulas Neftci [director of Baruch’s Small Business Development Center] when the business was still just in the concept phase,” says Rein. Neftci and the Field Center proved crucial to the development of the baby business. “Ulas personally even helped us pick out our name,” says Rein. “In fact, we had originally envisioned the business as a store, and he helped us come to the conclusion that the truck was the right choice.” The relationship didn’t end with Kelvin’s launch, according to Rein. “We have kept in ongoing contact with Ulas over the last two years and always circle back with him as we make major decisions about the company.”
The truck has become quite popular, with fans tracking its location on any given day by following @KELVINSLUSH on Twitter or calling the Slush Phone (646-200-5083). Those lucky enough to be in the vicinity of Greenwich Village can always stop by the cool (literally and figuratively) blue-hued Ice Cube for their hit of slush. Where else can one get such a naturally delicious treat with such refreshing possibilities for customizing? Mix-ins include fresh mint and basil, plus a rotating selection of fruit purées, including white peach, pink guava, and caramelized pineapple. A Kelvin Float—slush topped with a scoop of artisanal Blue Marble ice cream—is another fantastic option.
Don’t wait until the summer’s over to sample a slush! For more info: http://kelvinslush.com/