Pumphreys to be featured on reality show

By Chris Bridges - the Walton Tribune

Dr. Karyn and Rex Pumphrey have found local success with their gelato sales. The two will appear on the reality show, ‘The Blox,’ with a chance to win $15,000 for their business. Special photo

Dr. Karyn Pumphrey and Rex Pumphrey can tell you about gelato.

The local Monroe couple has become somewhat of a fixture with their Gelato Queen ice cream truck and bus. They make the rounds at local festivals, birthday parties and the like and are now set to take part in a reality show called “The Blox.” If they emerge as the winners, it would mean a $15,000 prize which would be put into their business.

“We started because I like gelato and the prices were going up in stores,” Karyn said. “They (the store brands) have a lot of fillers like candy. We felt we could do it better so we started making it. Our friends liked it and we wanted to sell it. We suddenly were in the gelato business.”

Gelato uses less cream and more milk than ice cream and typically contains no egg yolks or eggs at all. It is often served slightly warmer than American ice cream and is also churned at a slower rate, introducing less air into the product.

Rex runs the day-to-day operations. Karyn has been a teacher for more than 25 years. She currently teaches K-5 science in Gwinnett County. They have been married eight years.

From local fairs and other events, the couple shows up in a 1975 ice cream truck. 

“It doesn’t go far and doesn’t go fast,” Karyn laughed. “We went around to our neighbors to start with. We started to going to pool parties when we were invited. If someone is having birthday party or a corporate event, we can go. We make all the Loganville and Monroe festivals and will be at the Monroe car show on March 16.”

And here’s a little item for those over 21: They have adult gelato. Karyn says it is only for flavor, similar to rum cake, but it gives it a little more punch.

The couple is eager to venture to Tulsa, Ok. to appear on “The Blox” reality show.

“I saw something about it on Facebook,” Karyn said. “They wanted a micro business with one or two people. I sent in an application and then they asked for a video. We were interviewed and were among the 20 from 50,000 selected.”

The show, which has been in existence for 10 years, features 20 startup founders competing daily in exercises, pitches, and tests to earn points; with themes like inbound marketing, growth hacking and fundraising shaping the competition. It airs on Amazon Prime.

The ultimate winner receives $15,000.

The Pumphreys said they are like most small, locally owned and operated ventures. They are just starting to make a profit. The  1975 truck and 1999 school bus were major costs for the business. The grand prize would allow them to pay off those vehicles. 

It could also lead to a possible brick and mortar setup for the local business owners.

“Ultimately, we are Monroe proud,” they said. “The community has been such a blessing. We have a  Facebook page and we have an email but people just talk and the word has spread. They like us and we like them. It is a pleasure to come out and see everyone at the festivals as well as Walton schools, churches.”

Walton County’s little gelato secret may not be a local secret for much longer. Both are eager for their chance to shine on the reality show.

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