Love's Ice Cream takes it to the streets

Life doesn't get much better than when you're eating ice cream on a summer day. And Chris McKellar is doing his best to make sure that anyone who appreciates great ice cream, handmade with only the highest quality ingredients, will be able to enjoy the creamy, cool goodness at the Downtown Market and beyond.

McKellar, founder of Love's Ice Cream, just completed his ninth month of operation in the Downtown Market. In those nine months, McKellar says his 10-person team has focused on fine-tuning the process of making the ice cream in his small commercial kitchen and using the time to test new flavors, talk to customers and build strategic alliances with suppliers and potential commercial accounts. It's all part of his plan to expand the availability of his products throughout West Michigan.

McKellar says his team regularly experiments on new products and services, such as ice cream cakes and ice cream sandwiches -- "We just like to stay fresh and relevant" -- but what he has learned is that their business about one thing: small batch ice cream that is made with fresh and natural ingredients. "Every week we are constantly testing the waters while at the same time staying true to our core: ice cream. Side things are good to have but are not driving the business," he says.

Beside creating new products and flavors, McKellar is also experimenting with finding ways to deliver ice cream beyond the Downtown Market, including developing a wholesale business and launching a mobile ice cream cart that can be used at special events anywhere in the area. "The mobile cart has been a surprise. We are booked out for summer with weddings and catering and we are starting to book graduations for the cart in 2015," he says. McKellar also says that he plans to have the cart at various community events, such as Movies in the Park and street festivals.

Besides events, he also says he is slowly building a wholesale market through retailers and restaurants. Nourish Organic Market will be his first retail customer, carrying pints of Love's Ice Cream this summer. He also says that Love's will soon have a signature delivery vehicle that he hopes to unveil in 2014.

In a world where most ice cream is mass produced with mass-produced ingredients, McKellar is very optimistic about the future of Love's: "No one is doing it the way I am."

To learn more about Love's visit their Facebook page here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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