CHICAGO (WLS) — A Chicago business born out of the pandemic is creating more than just ice cream after one woman turned her sweet hobby into a new venture.
“I actually purchased a machine as a fun activity to do learn how to make ice cream with my children and the ice cream machine came the day before I got laid off,” said Ida Nelson.
Nelson was a former executive assistant from North Lawndale. Now, she is the owner of Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream and Treats which is based in incubator space in East Garfield Park.
“I wanted to do my part to create happiness, joy and peace, and then also to create resources for our hurting community,” Nelson said.
Ida’s is among 4,800 Black-owned businesses in the Chicago area.
She said it’s about more than ice cream, but creating opportunities. She employs seven people and is adding more to keep up with demand that’s about to grow.
Starting Wednesday, the Museum of Ice Cream off Michigan Avenue is featuring two of Ida’s flavors during Black History Month.
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“We thought it was extremely important to partner with a Black business that is a local Black business,” said Kimberly Lawson, with the Museum of Ice Cream. “It’s so important we bring people in to try their incredible ice cream and maybe venture into a neighborhood they are not as familiar with.”
“I tell my children every day we create Black history by making the decision to be excellent. I am a reflection of what good can come from North Lawndale, I am North Lawndale through and through,” Nelson said. “I’m excited that people in my community and in the city will have the chance to experience this but people all over the world — ice cream lovers from all over the world — will get to experience this.”
Nelson sells her 50 flavors, including 12 vegan options, online. While visitors to the Museum can sample this month in person, watch for an Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream and Treats storefront coming to North Lawndale this summer.
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