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Swell on Wheels

A whimsical ice cream truck makes these tasty treats worth running after.

What: Pink ice cream trucks with international treats
Who: Leyla Safai of Heartschallenger
Where: Los Angeles
When: Started in 2005
Startup: $20,000

In 2005, 28-year-old Leyla Safai quit her job to pursue her dare-to-dream vision of owning a colorful ice cream truck that delivers toys and treats to an electronic beat. A fan of fairytales, Safai sought the "happily ever after" she had always read about. With $20,000, Safai purchased an old mail truck, painted it pink with white hearts and unicorns, and adopted the name Heartschallenger.

Today, Safai's five trucks can be spotted at birthday parties, film festivals and fashion events, dispensing global favorites like Japanese mochi, Persian rosewater ice cream and Mexican fruit bars while playing punk-disco themed music mixed by Safai's band, Heartsrevolution.

Safai says Heartschallenger represents much more than just an ice cream truck. "There's something deeper that kids and adults find inspiring," she says.

Looking down the road, Heartschallenger is fueling out to Chicago, New York City, Paris and parts of the United Kingdom. Safai expects about $250,000 in sales this year.

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This article was originally published in the October 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Swell on Wheels.

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