Everyone in New York City seems to love the world’s first and only pop-cultured inspired ice cream shop called Mikey Likes It Ice Cream and it’s creating quite a buzz across the whole nation as well. Entrepreneur Michael “Mikey” Cole founded the brand with hopes to fill a void in communities where Black people are mostly misrepresented, and he did just that and more!
Mikey, who was born and raised in NYC, started experimenting with ice cream after finding an ice cream recipe created by his late Aunt Lucy. He came up with his own version and produced different unique flavors from it.
The ice cream shop, which is inspired by pop-culture, has locations in New York’s Lower East Side and Harlem. They serve ice cream flavors with names coming from several pop-culture and Black-centered references such as Southern Hospitality – a pecan pie ice cream with praline pecans and pecan pie pieces, and Eat to Heal, a blueberry-hibiscus vegan flavor inspired by Dr. Sebi.
“The inspiration behind the ice cream shop is to create a safe haven for everyone that also creates memories and empowers the community,” Mikey told Travel Noire. “This is my version of the lemonade stand. The kids now have to be encouraged and empowered to be able to reach their goals and in turn, be successful.”
Mikey Likes It Ice Cream has been a nationwide topic after being featured in leading publications including The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Essence, and New York Magazine. Mikey’s creations have been so famous that he has also already been requested to create custom flavors for celebrities such as Jay-Z and Hillary Clinton.
Aside from the business aspect, Mikey never forgets to give back to the community. He has created a not-for-profit program where at-risk youth are given the chance to achieve a food handler’s certificate to be able to land a job in the food industry. The Mikey Likes It Ice Cream Academy aims to “help them build character and then give them the opportunity to work in the business.”
He comments, “Whether it’s an ice cream maker, a flavor pilot, a graphic designer or anyone that has a passion the help the business grow, we want to help build others as they help us grow the business. This is what will help strengthen each other and in turn strengthen the community.”