Cottagers on the five Lake chain in the Haliburton area are getting a new and delicious service to their docks this summer.

It is called Dockie Dee, a play on the Dickie Dee ice cream bicycles from the 70s and 80s. 12-year-old Spencer Bowker plies the waters of Head, Grass, Soyers, Canning, & Kash lakes selling a variety of ice cream, newspapers, worms and ice.

On a busy day, Spencer serves around 100 customers. They call or text and guide him in with a description of the dock, as there are no street signs and addresses on the shore. Or he gets a welcoming party to guide him in.

Pricing is close to that of a regular convenience store and Spencer says “people are really polite about it. They know we need to make some money off this.”

Spencer’s dad, Craig Bowker, owns a number of businesses on the water in Haliburton. Because Spencer is only 12 he could not participate in those businesses for insurance reasons. But as Craig tells it, Spencer was the one to come up with a solution.

“He says, ‘I can legally operate a boat with an engine up to 40 horsepower’,” recalls Craig.

That led to finding a pontoon boat and converting it into a floating ice cream shop. He had to wire the boat for industrial grade freezers to handle the heat on the water.

“Some of those really hot days earlier in the month really challenged those freezers, but they stood up to it,” he said.

The operation started on July 1st and runs three days a week from Thursday to Sunday.

“We have to remember he is still a kid and needs to have some fun too,” said Craig.

According to Spencer, it is a lot of fun. He selects different pals to come out and help him on the water as a volunteer.

 

Spencer will split his daily tips with his crewmates and Craig offers, “they may get a free ice cream.”

When he is not working the boat you can find Spencer helping out on other parts of the various companies. As Craig says “he will likely buy his first car before he can get his license.”