A familiar sound to many will soon be heard throughout the streets of Martensville as Dickie Dees prepares for their arrival. Owner Joshua Turner is looking forward to providing Martensville residents with tasty ice cold treats in an old fashioned format. Already serving up the communities of Dundurn, Warman, Delisle and Saskatoon, the move to Martensville was delayed slightly due to amendments being required in the City’s Business Licensing Bylaw. Prior to Turner’s request, the bylaw did not include licensing options for self-propelled units such as a bicycle. These changes were approved during the July 17th Council meeting, and Turner wasted no time at all looking for riders that were interested in representing the famous franchise.
Initially, Turner plans to have one to two bikes on the streets of Martensville to begin introducing the community to the old way of hearing those Dickee Dee bike bells as they roll through neighborhoods. “It’s going to take a little bit to reintroduce people to getting used to us coming around their neighborhoods at 6 or 7 pm after supper and they are going to be able to listen for those bells and hear their Dickie Dee rider coming up the street,” Turner said.
The idea behind the business came as an accident for Turner, who runs JT’s Tasty Treats Beach Café at Blackstrap Provincial Park. Coming upon a retro ice cream bike as a promotional item for the café, Turner decided to stock up with some ice cream and took the bike out for a ride in the evening after work. “I started doing it and I would go out and make two to three hundred dollars in a couple of hours. After that, I began to think, if I can do that with one bike, then what if I had ten or twenty,” explained Turner. From there, JT’s Tasty Treats took to the streets. The concept took off like wildfire as many people remembered the ice cream bicycles from years past and were excited to see their return.
It wasn’t long before representatives from Dickie Dee saw the popularity of JT’s Tasty Treats through various marketing projects and contacted Turner. “They also saw how much ice cream we were purchasing through their wholesaler and contacted us directly. We put through a deal to work to take over the Dickie Dee name. We wanted to refresh the familiar name and give it a bit of a face lift and breathe some fresh air into an old brand that had been shelved for a while,” said Turner. Not realizing the effect that having the Dickie Dee name would have on people, Turner didn’t expect to see huge results. “I knew there would be some value in the name, but at the same time, I kind of thought that people just associated any bike with that name – like Kleenex, or Ski-Doo. Since we have been working with Dickie Dees and brought back that nostalgic name, it has been through the roof.” With ongoing requests from communities to bring bikes in, Turner and his team have a hard time keeping up with everywhere their presence is requested.
“Dickie Dee was such a familiar thing for so many people growing up and so many people remember it fondly. Now those people have kids and grandkids and this allows them to introduce them to that memory. It makes us all feel like kids again and we are so excited to be able to continue those memories for our kids and grandkids.” Utilizing bicycles from the 70’s and 80’s, it is important to Turner to continue that nostalgia, although finding parts can sometimes prove difficult.
Ice cream lovers are also invited to contact JT’s Tasty Treats to request a Dickie Dee bike to attend any event they may be hosting with 10+ people such as birthday parties, slo-pitch tournaments, fundraisers and more. “We would be happy to show up at your event and bring some extra excitement to it!”
With service in Martensville planned to begin following the long weekend, make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for a Dickie Dee rider. With one rider already in place, Turner is still accepting resumes for a second rider in Martensville. Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org. “Don’t be afraid to give us a wave if you do want ice cream and listen for the sound of those bells coming through!”