During the pandemic, Ida Nelson started making ice cream with her children as a fun activity to keep them entertained. As Ida continued experimenting with unique flavor combinations, this fun activity grew into a business.
Now, Ida creates original artisan ice cream out of The Hatchery, a food and beverage business incubator co-owned by A4CB. Her flavors include Banana Pudding, Strawberry Sublime, Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake, and more. “The Hatchery has given me the space to work and scale my business, network, and generate business,” Ida said.
In 2021, Ida received a small business loan from Allies for Community Business. She used the funds to purchase an ice cream machine. Ida also received coaching services from A4CB to help develop her business plan.
Though many small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic, Ida says it only allowed her business to propel. “The pandemic gave us the ability to create a niche type of product,” Ida explained. “We were able to deliver ice cream to people’s houses because the pandemic forced everyone to get comfortable with things being delivered to them.”
Today, Ida works with a team of eight. She also partners with organizations such as the North Lawndale Employment Network to help members of the community train and develop new skills.
In addition to delivering delicious ice cream, Ida uses her business as a vessel for change by hosting Ice Cream Social Awareness nights. Over ice cream, attendees discuss social justice issues and brainstorm ways to create social change in their communities.
Looking forward, Ida hopes to continue to grow her business and eventually open her own brick and mortar shop as well as an ice cream production facility.