Luv Fats Ice Cream: Business Story, Austin

by admin

Chi Ndika, a successful 25-year old minority business owner in Austin, is one of the recipients for the SmartBiz (r) Boost a Small Business in Need Grant Program. The program was designed to empower minority and black-owned businesses both in Austin and San Francisco, where SmartBiz Loans is located.

Luv Fats makes homemade ice-cream in small batches. Ndika started her business to promote healthy fats using coconut milk and avocados as the base. She uses healthy and unique ingredients, such as fresh produce, herbs, and nuts found in local Austin farmer’s market. Chi’s flavors were inspired by her Kenyan-Nigerian roots. She first tried dairy-free flavors and recipes due to an allergic reaction. Every weekend, Luv Fats ice cream is in demand at the local Austin farmer’s market.

Start your own business

Ndika did not follow the traditional path of entrepreneurship, earning her first degree in psychology. Her family does cook east and west African food. Ndika says, “I wanted to start a business since I was a child.” “I used bring purses and handbags from Kenya to my friends to sell. Her friends helped realize that consumers are interested in local and natural ingredients.

She says, “I did not come here thinking that I would start a business selling ice cream.” At my mother’s birthday, I made ice cream I never thought would taste like dairy. The Luv Fats recipe for ice cream is unique, as far as I’m aware. We use the whole avocado.

Ndika is now in the natural ice-cream business for more than 3 years. She has to invest in expensive equipment for production and storage, but she works with a manufacturer who makes and stores her ice cream. She was offered a chance to sell her product and a place to vend by friends in the creative industries.

Funding Luv Fats

Ndika worked for a nonprofit and operated her business every weekend. She launched Luv Fats Ice Cream with a loan from a close friend after funding it herself for six months. The loan was used to purchase equipment and obtain the necessary business permits.

Since then, she has maintained a positive cash flow. She has successfully promoted her business through the Facebook page and Instagram page of Luv Fat Ice Cream. She says, “I do the entire promotion myself through social media.” Our logo features an image of myself, which lets people know I am a minority business owner. Online, it’s crucial to be engaging and personable.

Experiences of a minor business owner

She faces unique challenges as a minority. She says that there isn’t much of an African American population who is not used to engaging black business owners in Austin. “I say hello, good morning, and begin conversations to remind them why I am here. Some colleagues do not take me seriously because I am a young, black woman.

Luv Fats, like many other small businesses, has been severely affected by the economic crisis and coronavirus epidemic. Her biggest challenge was sourcing ingredients such as coconut milk and cream. Due to financial and health concerns, she has put off hiring someone to help her produce the ice-cream. Ndika announced that one farmers’ market was closed on Saturday, which resulted in a loss of cash flow. They have also encouraged customers to follow market guidelines. “We encourage customers to wear masks and conduct quick transactions.”

Prepare for the future

Ndika plans to use the grant money for business development. We’re buying a batch-freezer so that we won’t need to use another production facility. This will enable us to produce more product every day.

Ndika knows how important it is to support small businesses and she does everything in her power to do so. She says: “My goal in business is to encourage the people around me shop locally to build up the economy. As a black owner of a business, I have learned to be resilient and determined. “I want to share this with others.”

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