Love's Ice Cream named "Startup to Watch" by Making it Michigan Conference, expands distribution

Not all startups are made up of code and bytes. Some are based on fresh, organic ingredients and a commitment to sustainability.

Love's Ice Cream was recently named the "Startup to Watch" by the Making it Michigan Conference. Chris McKellar, founder, says the recognition was based on his company's business plan execution, short time to hit profitability, consistent growth and a steady progress with distributing his pints throughout Michigan. McKellar says he was nominated by his advisor at the MSU Product Center.

New distribution channels for Love's include their selection, out of more than 100 possible  products, to be featured by Westborn Market for at least a year. "I see that stroke of luck - being in the right place at the right time - as paving the way for the Love's Ice Cream invasion of the east side of the state," McKellar says. "It will help us get our small scale distribution wings."

Looking forward, McKellar says he is working on several projects. "Some are top secret, others not so much. We will be releasing a very special product this spring that has been over a year in the making. We are also starting to brew our own sodas, which will be available mid-February."

McKellar says he is still readying his vintage Love's Ice Cream van and anticipates being all over Grand Rapids in 2015 when the weather clears. "It made its debut last July but needed more restoration than originally thought. It's nearing completion and will be road ready for spring," he says.  

He also anticipates a very busy year. "We're constantly booking events all over West Michigan, and while 2015 still has lots of dates open, we're getting requests for 2016 already. In addition, we are getting regular inquiries from retailers around the state interested in carrying our pints."

To keep up with the growth McKellar says he will be hiring some staff in March: "We're looking to add a couple staff for the May - September season and we're encouraging food-minded people to apply in February."

Putting the growth and recognition in perspective, McKellar is quick to point what is at the heart of Love's Ice Cream. "Most importantly, though, we remain focused on putting out the only organically principled ice cream and vegan gelato in Michigan," he says.

For more information you can view their website here or their Facebook page here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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