Startup small batch ice cream makers No Coast Creamery have their sights set on taking their tasty treats on the road. Co-Founders Willie Justus and Hanna Berglund launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to help with the purchase and fabrication of a food truck.
It was a passion for ice cream and a healthy trip down memory lane that led the pair to starting the business earlier this year. While both currently have jobs, it’s a deep down desire to create something people can enjoy and the ambition to be their own bosses someday which drives their interest in growing the business faster.
PEN sat down with Willie and Hanna to find out more about their entrepreneurial pursuits and got a behind the scenes look at how they create one of their most popular flavors, Matcha Green Tea, at their temporary commissary at Midnight Espresso in Peoria.
So what is it that makes your ice cream so unique?
Willie: Both the ingredients and flavors. Since it’s small batch, everything is handmade.
Hanna: We wanted to bring people quality ingredients that they aren’t used to having in ice cream. Our dairy comes from Kilgus Farmstead. The eggs are farm fresh and come from Greengold Acres in Hanna City. The honey we use comes from Sasse’s Apiary in Chestnut. We try to use as many ingredients from local sources here in Central Illinois.
Willie: I had a friend who is in a local band and they successfully launched a project to raise money to release an album. It’s an interesting way to see what the market is.
Hanna: I’ve heard a lot of really good success stories of people using Kickstarter and I’ve personally contributed to a campaign before.
What would the $10,000 be used for?
Willie: The amount was initially going to be lower, but we wanted to include as much as possible earlier on to show people we are serious about this. We plan on putting all of the money towards the purchase of a truck and any improvements it’ll need. Actually, it’ll probably take quite a bit more than $10,000 in total.
What are your biggest business needs right now?
Willie: We’re definitely better at the making ice cream side of things. Since we’re still so new a business, we need to get everything situated on the legal side with registrations, trademarking, certifications, etc…
Hanna: We have a few connections within the restaurant industry right now, but having more always helps. With their knowledge and experience they might be able to think of things that we aren’t thinking of.
How does a food truck help you grow?
Willie: Just having a location would help greatly. Also, I think it will help boost the interest in the wholesale side of things.
Where can people try or experience No Coast Creamery?
Willie: We are having a special popup ice cream tasting at Midnight Espresso on Monday, May 16th. Hanna: You can see our menu on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.
The No Coast Creamery Kickstarter offers some delicious perks in exchange for investment. The campaign began on May 7th and runs until June 13th. Look for new perks and special events as it progresses. View the campaign by clicking below and contribute today!
Startup Peoria is a program of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council. The Greater Peoria EDC is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization that drives economic growth in a five county region through targeted business and talent development.