Here’s one side hustle idea to make extra money amid pandemic

Here's one side hustle idea to make extra money amid pandemic

Like Apple‘s, Google‘s and Amazon‘s founders before him, in 2013 Chieh Huang launched bulk grocery and household goods e-commerce company Boxed out of a garage — his parents’ two-car garage in New Jersey, to be exact.

In 2018, Huang sold a minority stake in Boxed to Japan’s Aeon Group, in a deal that valued the company at $600 million, according to The New York Times

But if Huang needed to make some extra money today, he has another side hustle idea.

“If I had the time, I would buy a used van and drive a grown-up ice cream truck,” Huang tells CNBC Make It. “The truck would sell wine/alcohol-infused frozen treats, as well as regular cocktails.” 

(Coolhaus food trucks meets Tipsy Scoop boozy ice cream perhaps?)

His “grown-up ice cream truck” could be a nice escape for people amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he says.

“Given all the angst that everyone is feeling at home, I’m sure full-grown adults would chase an ice cream truck down the street like they’re 10 years old again if they knew it sold booze.”

Huang may be on to something – during the pandemic, retail sales of beer and wine have spiked, CNBC reported. Off-premise sales of spirits in the U.S. went up 34.1% from last year for the nine-week period ending May 2, according to Nielsen data. Wine sales went up 30.1% and beer sales went up 12.6% during the same time.

“We’ve seen rises in [people making] really simple, two to three ingredient cocktails, anything from the negroni [to] the classic martini,” Tom Spaven, brand director at Bacardi-owned gin brand Bombay Sapphire, told CNBC. “And we’ve seen a significant rise in sales of premium mixers.”

(According to the World Health Organization, however, drinking alcohol can increase the risk of catching Covid-19 or make the disease worse.)

Huang’s mobile cocktail bar would require working out some logistics (like a liquor license, depending on the location of operation, as well as food safety practices and a way to check IDs). But the Boxed founder can already “imagine the visuals it would create.”

“The commercial would practically shoot itself,” he says. 

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