From living on the streets to selling ice cream: Family turns things around


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s not uncommon to see ice cream trucks driving around Hampton Roads during the summer, but what is uncommon is the path that one family took to own their own truck.

Darnell Riddick is one person who can’t wait to go to work.

“This is going to be the loudest ice cream truck you’ve ever been in,” Darnell Riddick said. “It’s crazy to see the joy of people’s faces when the ice cream truck comes.”

Darnell Riddick’s opened D’Lee’s Freezies and More two years ago.

“I make my own freezies,” he added. “I have seven different flavors.”

The road the Riddick family travels hasn’t always been so smooth.

“It was five years ago I was living in the streets with my wife and my oldest son,” Darnell Riddick said.

Darnell Riddick admits poor choices lead him to being homeless at one point.

“It was a mess,” Marquita Riddick added. “It was days we would just camp out in that van all day long.”

“I’ve been through a lot of hardships,” he said.

When he hit rock bottom, he decided to turn things around.

Two years and two trucks later, the Riddicks just opened their first shop in Virginia Beach at 605 Pembroke Avenue, Unit 102B.

“I didn’t expect we would be here today,” Marquita Riddick said.

“It puts a smile to my face, but it feels like I’m not done,” Darnell Riddick added. “I’m just staring at what this mission is.”

For the Riddicks, success has been so sweet and even includes giving back to the community.

“When I did get homeless nobody remembered me anymore and I said when I get myself together I will never do that to anybody,” Darnell said.

The family is now forming a nonprofit to help those in need.

“It’s been real trying, but if you keep Jesus first, anything is possible,” Darnell Riddick said.

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