Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream & Treats, a black-owned business, is creating social change

CHICAGO — Ida Nelson does more than collect delicious treats, she also uses her business to change and shape her community.

Trying to find activities to keep her kids entertained during the pandemic, Ida turned to making ice cream. But she didn’t just want to make vanilla and chocolate. Looking through her cabinets, she found blueberries, lemons, cream cheese, and graham crackers and mixed them together to make Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream!

Her flavor combos only exploded from there when she built Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream & Treats.

Banana Pudding, Mango Tajin, Strawberry Sublime (which contains cilantro!), Brownie Batter, and the colorful Unicorn Magic are just a few of its unique flavors. And her use of a few fresh ingredients per recipe means she creates quality “artisanal” treats.

“I attribute it to my eclectic palate,” Nelson said. “I try to think of fun and unique flavor combinations.”

Ida is also committed to using her resources to help support her community. Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream hosts ice cream social “awareness” nights.

People come for the ice cream, but stay for the conversations about how social change can be embraced and how issues like poverty and racism can be solved.

“I wanted to empower my community to see that they too can do what they think,” Nelson said. “I had never really seen a black face on ice before. I felt it was important that our culture be represented there.”

You can find and order Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream & Treats at


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