If necessity is the mother of invention, Joe Nicchi's ice cream truck, CVT Soft Serve, was born from L.A.'s hot summer doldrums. Lacking quality options citywide, the upstate New York transplant pulled together enough cash — and lucked into a 1961 Mr. Softee truck, lovingly named Charlie — to start his own roving ice cream operation. Now, CVT (that's chocolate, vanilla and twist, the only flavors the truck serves) is popping up everywhere, working events from the Fox backlot to private house parties in the hills with Bill Murray. CVT even teams up with coffee shops and dessert makers for one-off affogatos, root beer floats and ice cream sandwiches. The truck's proprietary ice cream recipe relies on California dairies and uses a local creamery to craft heat-beating swirls of flavor, with only sprinkles and sea salt needed for toppings. Not bad for a truck born in 1961. (And they just bought four more trucks!) —Farley Elliott
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