In The Pipeline: Don't let this case get cold

May 29, 2012|By Chris Epting
(Courtesy Charles…)

"They stole my trailer. Inside was my push cart, my umbrella, my signage, my generator — even my ice scream scoops!"

In his thick Boston accent, the 34-year-old entrepreneur was telling me about his loss the night before as we sat in the Albertsons supermarket near Yorktown and Goldenwest. But when you get to know Mike Guidicianne, you also know that somehow, someway, he'll not just survive, but thrive.

I met him a few weeks ago when I was judging at the Taste of Huntington Beach, where he, one of the event's participants, was set up under the tent with the aforementioned cart, umbrella, signage, generator and ice cream scoops. As I wandered by, the salesman-at-heart motioned me over to sample his wares.

True, getting me to try Italian ice on a hot day (or pretty much any day for that matter) is no great challenge. Since watching men with pushcarts in New York's Little Italy spoon out fresh lemon ice on summer days when I was a kid, I have been addicted. And Guidicianne, who owns and operates Orange County Slush, must have seen me coming.


That said, as a purveyor of fine, flavored ices over the years, what he had to sample ranked right up there with the best I've had — from the streets of New York to Joe's Italian Ice in Garden Grove. My kids and I tried Blue Vanilla, Watermelon, Lemon (of course) and a new flavor — Orange County Cream.

In addition to his delicious product, Guidicianne's enthusiasm for his homegrown brand also hooked me, and so I thought I'd share his story here.

We met at a local Albertsons the other day to talk and I was met with the news of his loss. He'd parked his trailer full of supplies out back of the store earlier in the week only to have the entire thing stolen. Huntington Beach police are on it, but Guidicianne was not dwelling too much on the senseless crime. He's got other things to fret over, good things, like the fact that Albertsons is now going to be carrying freezers full of his ices in 80 of its Orange County stores.

Currently, Orange County Slush is carried in seven local stores — three in Huntington Beach, three in Irvine and one in Westminster.

As Guidicianne explained to me, he was raised in the Boston area, and his childhood was all but defined by his mom's battle with cancer.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles