|FYI — November 2003|
|By Brad Dunn|
This summer, nautical entrepreneur Lisa Toscano of Branford, Connecticut, launched a business that literally caters to a previously untapped marketplace. The first and only licensed boat vendor in the area, Toscano turned her 20-foot SeaDoo jet boat into a floating concession stand and began delivering key cruising staples—ice cream, hot dogs, cigarettes, sunblock, and much more—to under-supplied boats all along the Connecticut coast.
“Boats are all tied up, and no one wants to untie and get out of their anchorage just to get more food or run an errand,” Toscano told the Associated Press when she launched the enterprise.
When she applied for the special vendor permit, Toscano had no idea how popular her business idea would become. Initially she imagined that her “Snacks on the Sound” delivery service would just cater boating essentials to anchored cruisers in Connecticut’s Kelsey and Thimble Islands. When word spread that a call to Channel 13 could summon a floating snack stand, all manner of requests began flooding in from boaters all over the Sound: roast beef sandwiches, pizza, cigars, even dog treats for water-loving pets.
Toscano, who is sometimes assisted by her two teenage sons, quickly expanded her onboard equipment to include a bevy of ice-cold coolers and a warmer for hot dogs and pizza. Her busiest days had her fielding calls that were pouring in from as many as 100 boats per weekend.
Though ice cream was far and away her most popular item this summer, there was no limit to the variety of customers—and vessels—she served.
“Huge, small, it doesn’t matter,” she says. “I once brought ice cream to a mom and daughter on a kayak, but I’ve also delivered hot dogs to yachts.”
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This article originally appeared in the November 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.