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The NJFPA Stradley Ronon Food Forum

This series will focus on stories about the people changing the face of the food processing in the Garden State through innovation, hard work and lending a caring hand. The NJFPA will endeavor to tell the stories that might now get attention in other mainstream channels.

If this series inspires and provides actionable ideas, it will achieve its aims.

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Oct 26, 2021

Welcome to the second episode of Season 2 of the NJFPA Stradley Ronon Food Forum Podcast. In this episode, Bill Mandia, Partner at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, speaks with Dan Kilcoyne, president and CEO of Mini Melts Ice Cream. They talk about starting a business as a teenager, that investing early in support services is worth it and why to always read the manual first!

Guest Bio:

Dan Kilcoyne
Dan, as a freshman in high school (Father Judge High School-Philadelphia, PA) started his business career along with his brother, Shawn, who was a senior at the time.

As President/CEO of Mini Melts Ice Cream. Dan has grown his business from a local Philadelphia upstart to national distribution with tens of thousands of locations.  His company has corporate operations in 14 locations with their main manufacturing facility in Norwich, CT and corporate headquarters located just outside of Philadelphia, PA.  Dan's company has partnerships with some of the largest venues and retailers in the world with millions of people purchasing Mini Melts each year.  A pioneer in the Automated Retail and DSD Space, Dan has uniquely positioned Mini Melts Ice Cream to be a manufacturer, distributor, last mile supplier, and in some cases a retailer of a ultra temperature sensitive, cryogenic product.

Personally, Dan serves on numerous non-profit boards with a special interest in entrepreneurial education.  He currently is Vice Chair of the Friends of Father Judge High School and serves as a Trustee for Holy Family University. Dan is a recipient of two good citizenship awards from the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and Philadelphia City Council.

Listeners will hear: 

  • How he had to get a ride from dad to his first business pitch.
  • The benefits and pitfalls of starting a business as a teenager.
  • Why you should always read the manual first! 
  • On backfilling your distribution route.
  • How they gradually expanded the scope of the business from sales to manufacturing and more.
  • Experiences with a variety of distribution models: hand cart, brick and mortar storefront, vending machines, and direct store delivery.
  • How to stay nimble and avoid supply chain disruptions.
  • That investing in good support services [attorneys, accountants, etc.] will save you in the long run.

Download the Edited Interview Transcript