LONG lines of people waiting for hours, all for a scoop of special ice cream. This is probably one of the unusual and intriguing scenarios one can witness a night market on Roxas avenue in Davao City.
His sidewalk business started to ring a bell when various posts on Facebook and other social media sites saying "the best ice cream I ever tasted!" which eventually turned Mang Danny’s Ice Cream to some sort of "sweet destination" where friends, families and lovers spend their bonding time while queuing and waiting for Dionilo dela Torre, popularly known as Mang Danny.
Whenever 60-year-old Mang Danny would arrive around 9 p.m. (Customers usually start to fall in line by 6 p.m.) peddling his cart of love and sweetness to his avid customers in a form of ice cream, his customers would start to burst in applause, all excited, eager to taste the taste of a P20 of six scoops of three flavor ice cream per cone.
That is how powerful this kind of enterprise Mang Danny has.
More than just a mere business, Mang Danny said that he had no secret apart from putting passion and love in making recipe for 48 years.
“I never stopped experimenting and upgrading my ice cream recipe even until now. I learned to love selling ice cream because I used to do it since I was 14 years old and I am bound to keep on improving its taste until no more,” the ice cream man said in vernacular.
He added that venturing into this business is a tough challenge for him since he is not the only one selling ice cream but he considered his competitors as a challenge to pursue better opportunities and learn to improve his skills in making an ice cream, thus having his special ice cream now, for whatever it had achieved.
“Lami man ang mga ice cream sa uban maong ako naningkamot pud nga mapalami nako ang akoang ice cream para daghan ang mamalit (My competitors’ ice cream are delicious, actually they pushed me to continue and improve my ice cream),” Mang Danny said.
But he was quick to add that nothing starts easy, he stumbled, he failed for a couple of times but it did not stop him to pursue and strive more in mastering and getting the perfect recipe he aspire for.
Mang Danny first sold his ice cream in his hometown in Matalam, North Cotabato after being taught by his friends who are also suitors of his sister. He then left his hometown for a greater opportunity he saw in Davao.
“Mas daghan man ang customers diri (Davao) kaysa sa amoa (There are more customers here in Davao than in our hometown,” he said.
Starting with only P2,000 as his capital for his three-tube special “dirty ice cream” business, Mang Danny is now earning an average P5,000 for all the 1,225 cones sold per night.
He also shared that aside from selling ice cream he ventured before in some businesses, he tried selling fishes in the market and putting up a sari-sari store but in the end he has chosen to make ice cream because it does not spoil easily but above all he found happiness in making ice creams.
As a source of income, Mang Danny put more attention to his ice cream and his customers.
“If I had a secret, it is putting love and passion while making the ice cream and passing happiness to my customers,” he said, adding that he is now more motivated to go to the night market every night disregarding back pains because there are people lining up for hours just to taste his ice cream.
As part of his future plans, while the business is still on its peak of success, Mang Danny is preparing to sustain his business. He is into buying himself an ice cream machine and freezers so he could produce more gallons of ice cream every day by saving up some 80 percent of his daily earnings.
But Mang Danny made it clear that he is contented with his dream to produce a good tasting ice cream, open a thriving and sustainable ice cream store, seeing smiles from his customers and to have a fulfilled happy life with his family, even without a mansion or fancy car.