Former pro football player brings Italian Ice to Reno

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Updated: 6/01 9:53 pm

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -A formal professional athlete turned vendor has made ice more than just a tasty treat.

In the late seventies James Hinkle was all about the gridiron.

“It was an experience and a half, it was an opportunity to be on what they called the ‘knock, knock’ squad… the practice team,” says Hinkle.

After one season with the Cleveland Browns Hinkle dropped the pads and nearly thirty years later scooped up some ice. Hinkle and his life and business partner Juliann Dewitt-Smith brought Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices, a franchise based in New Jersey, to the Reno food truck scene about three years ago. Hinkle says Italian Ice is not to be confused with shaved ice or snow cones.

“The difference is instead of getting a flavor that you consume then throw away, with us you eat to the bottom of the cup.”

With no dairy, corn syrup, or gluten it’s a perfect treat for almost anyone. And when it comes to children Hinkle can’t say no.

“When we see the look on their faces from afar, we get them over and if their mom has no problem they get a free taste, a cup full. No kid goes without Italian Ice.”

And his generosity doesn’t stop there.

“We have aspirations of getting it to a level to where we just come out with a tip jar and give it away to anyone who wants it on a hot day.”

Hinkle’s partner Juliann says he just loves to give.

“I can tell you that every time he makes money he gives it away. So he’s very forth coming and making sure people have things.”

If you haven’t already tasted Little Jimmy’s Hinkle promises it only takes a sample.

“Put Little Jimmy’s on your tongue one time and you’re hooked!”

The Reno Street Food at Idlewild Park is every Friday from 5pm-6pm through July twentieth. Hinkle is also working on being available at the Aces Ballpark later this month. For more information about Little Jimmy’s go to italianice.net and for information about Reno Street Food go to renostreetfood.com

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Kramer - 6/3/2014 11:30 AM
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how many Decades has Italian ice been sold from carts in parks and on sidewalks?? even gets a mention in a Chicago song... (yawn)

Kramer - 6/3/2014 11:28 AM
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a "formal' professional athelete...put Little Jimmy's on your tounge "little Jimmy's Hinkle" Don't bother to read this nonsense
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