Rylie Rooney’s new venture is a long way from the golf course.
The former Arrowtown Golf Club greenkeeper was in between jobs when a real fruit ice cream truck came up for sale in his hometown of Oamaru earlier this year.
Knowing his grandfather Barry Rooney, owner of Easy Made Marmalade, had a large freezer space for ice cream, and his father Nigel Rooney had fruit contacts from his business Sun Pic Jams – he decided to give it a go.
“I was in between jobs, and deciding whether to go back greenkeeping, and I decided to take this on . . . things just seemed to fall into place,” Mr Rooney said.
It was a decision that paid off and in August, Rylie’s Real Fruit Ice Creams was born.
“It’s been really good, I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Business had been booming – he had been busy attending a lot of community events – and he was rapt with the response from the public.
“There’s been really good support from the community, and just all the Kiwis travelling around at the moment.”
At the weekends, he parks in lower Wansbeck St, opposite Scotts Brewing Co.
His mother Debbie Rooney was working alongside him, and they were blown away by how busy the Harbour St area was.
“There’s so many people just from around New Zealand, and Timaru and Dunedin – people have started coming on day trips.”
Despite only being open for four months, Mr Rooney had already begun to make a name for himself, and people were requesting the “Rylie Special” – a blend of blueberry and strawberry.
He was preparing for a busy summer, and would work right through the Christmas and New Year period.
He hoped the community would support his new business and cool off with an ice cream this summer.