Home Food + Drink Amanda Bananas: Serving Banana Ice Cream at Pier 13

Amanda Bananas: Serving Banana Ice Cream at Pier 13

by Danielle Lynch
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When Amanda and Steve DiPasquale created Amanda’s Bananas, they did not realize how quickly it would become a Hoboken staple. Now, since Pier 13  is officially open for the season, Amanda Bananas can be found serving the Mile Square, in their eighth season here, as well as making appearances at different events, businesses, schools, and even in Japan. {Don’t worry, we will get there soon, too.} This indulgence started as a healthy alternative to ice cream and soon grew into what we all know and love — Amanda Bananas. Hoboken Girl recently caught up with Steve + Amanda to learn about how they got started and their journey in the food truck business. Read on to learn all about how Amanda Bananas, serving dairy + gluten-free ice dream down at Pier 13. 

amanda banana pier 13

How They Got Started

It was July 4th, 2012 when Steve and Amanda first started serving Amanda Bananas. “We were at Pier 13, when the fireworks were still on this side of the Hudson, serving ice cream in a pop-up tent,” explained Amanda. Their iconic truck was not yet ready so they rented all of the equipment and set up shop right there on the pier. It was all hands on deck — friends and family helped out all day and it was a huge success. 

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As to where the idea came from, it came from Amanda herself. Growing up, her grandmother would always freeze bananas and turn them into ice cream, and Amanda would always indulge in this delicious treat. 

“I have been, pretty much, dairy free for a long time now, so this is something I can eat,” she said. As for Steve, he has been in the restaurant business for many years before opening up shop. He was also the owner of Nine, a trendy nightclub in Hoboken {where The Cuban is now}. Steve made the transition out of nightlife just as food trucks were gaining popularity. 

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See More: Cubano X-Press: Serving the Best Cuban Sandwiches at Pier 13

What They Serve 

Amanda Bananas hand makes their own dairy-free, 100% fruit ice cream {sans the cream}. The process for creating banana ice cream is not a simple one. Bananas must be peeled, frozen, and juiced properly to create the perfect cup. Besides bananas, the food truck also offers other flavor options such as the mango pineapple, which is a half serving of each. 

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“What sets us apart is that we do not add anything to your ice cream; it’s just bananas,” the owners explained. They offer a huge selection of treats that even accommodate allergies. Plus, each fruit has its own juicer to avoid cross-contamination for those with allergies. 

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While it is difficult to choose our favorite menu item, Amanda and Steve agree that their best selling flavor is the banana cream pie {banana ice cream, crushed graham crackers, Nutella, and whipped cream}. Another new favorite is the aforementioned mango pineapple, which puts a twist on their typical ice cream and is made by freezing and juicing both mangos and pineapples. They recently tried their luck with the Cookie Monster flavor {Samoas, cookie dough, Speculoos, and crushed Oreos} and it was a huge hit. There are many different choices and the truck allows diners the option to build their own ice cream with a ton of topping choices. Check out their full menu for the delicious options. 

The Business

amanda banana truck

Owning a food truck is a lot of hard work. Steve wakes up at 5:00AM to get the truck ready, and FYI, it’s not just a quick pull up and plug-in process. The team has a commissary where they do all of their juicing and prep work. Then, the food is brought to the truck where it is served to the public. Amanda, who used to be a math teacher, loves her new position as the face of the company. She can be found in the truck taking orders and serving guests. 

“When people come to the window and ask if I am Amanda, I say yes. They are always shocked that it’s me.” Steve deals with all of the business aspects — from ordering to payroll to permits and everything else in between. “I had to learn to do so many different things, [and] even tow a trailer,” Steve told us.

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Working with fresh fruits also poses an enormous challenge. They have ordering products down to a science now, but in the beginning, it was tough. Over the years, Steve and Amanda have learned how to properly prep and how much fruit and toppings to order for their truck. “In one week, we go through 50 cases of bananas. Each case weighs 40 pounds each,” Steve shared {we’ll let you do the math}.

Owning a food truck as successful as Amanda Bananas is definitely a labor of love, but it’s something that they both enjoy doing together. 

Read More: Augustino’s: Hoboken’s Legendary Italian Restaurant

Amanda Banana Goes International 

Recently, Steve and Amanda were asked to travel to Osaka, Japan to participate in the Hankyu World Fair, where they set up a pop-up Amanda Bananas shop. They set up shop for two weeks in Japan and had an incredible experience sharing their ice cream with the people of Japan. It was a huge hit, too. We aren’t surprised.

Amanda Bananas + Its Hoboken Family

Steve and Amanda know that Amanda Bananas is a lot more than serving up awesome ice cream. It’s the family and sense of community that comes along with owning a local food truck. “The best part of it all is seeing families grow up right in front of us,” Amanda told us. 

“We see a lot of our guests once, even twice a day. It’s very humbling to have that.” 

Everyone in Hoboken knows of Amanda Bananas and enjoys the camaraderie and friendships that come with this adventure. Amanda even shared a story of a husband and wife who have been longtime guests of the truck.

“They were expecting a baby and Amanda knew she was due any day. When we didn’t see them for a few days, we knew that they had the baby. A few days later, the two showed up to the truck with their newborn and it was a beautiful thing — that’s what you get when you are part of the family.”

Location + Hours 

During the warmer seasons, Amanda Bananas can be found at its home site, Pier 13. During the week, they are there from 4:00PM to close and weekends from 11:00AM to close. They are also available for hire during the day for different corporate, school, or other private events. Reach out to them if you are interested in booking the truck for your next party. They can also be found at different festivals and events all over the map.

Be sure to follow them on IG @amandabananasnj for more information.

What’s your favorite flavor at Amanda Bananas? Let us know in the comments! 

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