ICE CREAM MAN Treatbot found Ryan Sebastian is installing a semi-permanent location at San Pedro Square Market.
San Jose native Ryan Sebastian and his wife put all their savings into starting a karaoke ice cream truck, and less than two years later, he’s calling it “one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.”
The Treatbot truck can be found late-night at parking lots around San Jose and downtown during the day, turning ordinary public spaces into bustling and unique social scenes.
In addition to provide a fun experience at his truck, Sebastian also has a commitment to sustainability. Every ingredient used to make Treatbot’s desserts are from local and sustainable sources within 50 miles of San Jose and the napkins, spoons and bowls are all corn-based and biodegradable.
Treatbot is about to open a permanent location in the San Pedro Square Market where ice cream will be served out the window of a stationary ice cream truck.
Name: Ryan Sebastian
Occupation: Founder of Treatbot and Ice Cream Truck
How long have you lived and worked in San Jose?
I was born and raised here. I’m from Evergreen, and I lived in So Cal for a little bit when I went to college at USC. I majored in city planning. I used to want to be the mayor of San Jose, but I came back home unemployed and living with my parents. Then I started working as a traffic engineer but I was furloughed, as they put it. After a while my wife and I just decided to try and do an ice cream truck, so we put all our savings into starting a business in the worst economy that’s existed since I was born. We opened April Fools Day 2010.
What do you like most about San Jose?
I think people are really supportive of each other here, especially for a big city. When I was starting out in the business, I started meeting a bunch of people my age who all wanted to do things and start things in San Jose. We all met once a month and tried to help each other achieve our goals. I think a lot of people here are very supportive of each other’s efforts because I think they feel there are not enough people doing those things right now.
I know that my brothers and I wouldn’t be doing the things that we’re doing if we were somewhere else. We wouldn’t have these opportunities.
Where are your favorite spots to take the truck in San Jose?
I really like going to my old neighborhood. I go to a parking lot on Aborn and White Road. I see a lot of people I know from growing up. There was this idea out there that we really should go to San Francisco if we wanted this to be big, but we rejected that because we wanted to do something in our own neighborhood. They’ve been the biggest supporters of what we do.