As the festival season comes to a close most seasonal business owners are packing up for the winter months, but after the results of last Tuesday's election many like Steve Gennarelli are busy making plans for the years ahead.
"I love Philadelphia, that's why I moved here to start this business in the first place. But if New Jersey decides to finally legalize it, we're going to have to seriously consider moving shop." said Steve, Owner and self-appointed Captain of Moon Dawg Sundaes.
Moon Dawg debuted only this past April but they quickly moved to the forefront of conversation in Philadelphia's booming street food scene. With sundaes featuring toppings like candied bacon and salted coca cola whipped cream, their self described "Willy Wonka meets Elvis" approach to ice cream won them Surf and Turf magazine's "Best New Business of 2017", and their signature sundae Birth of the Cool was also voted "Philadelphia's favorite new food" by Philly Eats.
"Legal weed will change the entire whole food industry. With all the possibilities it could give us for new ice cream creations, it would be a hard opportunity to pass up," remarked Steve in a phone interview Wednesday night, "I mean, think about it- We're a fried ice cream business. Weed is responsible for some of our best ideas and even more of our customers."
A New Jersey native himself Steve followed the election closely, supporting Phillip Murphy's platform of legal marijuana and the much needed economic growth it could bring to his home state. As it turns out- he's not alone.
Last October the Office of Government Contracting & Business Development (GC & BD) released their annual Business Outlook Survey and there has been a staggering 43% increase in businesses either moving to states with recreational marijuana, or making plans to in the future. What this could mean for Philadelphia's mobile food market is still unknown, but with the aspect of an attractive new market only one state line away many Philadelphia business owners are having similar thoughts.
It's still, however, expected to be a while until any progress is seen. The proposed bill to legalize marijuana is only in the early stages of being written and even if it does go through the state congress smoothly many law makers say we may not see a change until late 2019. So Philadelphia's new love of fried ice cream is safe for now, but fans may want to get it while they can because, for Moon Dawg Sundaes and it's fearless Captain, the future is still uncertain.
Learn more about Moon Dawg Sundaes at Moondawgsundaes.com