Los Angeles Ice Cream Pop-up Launches During Pandemic with CDFI Support
Client: SueEllen Mancini, owner of Sad Girl Creamery
Client Location: Los Angeles, CA
CDFI: Inclusive Action for the City (ICA)
CDFI Service Area: CA
Financing and technical assistance, with support from the Finance Justice Fund
SueEllen Mancini is the owner of Sad Girl Creamery, a pop-up ice cream parlor that sells Latin-inspired ice cream flavors and treats. A Texas native, SueEllen moved to Los Angeles two years ago and founded Sad Girl Creamery in January of 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Genesis of Sad Girl Creamery
Prior to the pandemic, SueEllen had been working on launching the business but paused when the pandemic hit. She was inspired, however, when she saw other entrepreneurs launching their businesses during the pandemic and decided to start her business as a pop-up. Unable to secure necessary financing from mainstream lenders, SueEllen approached Inclusive Action for the City (IAC) after learning about the CDFI in an article about IAC’s Street Vendor Emergency Fund.
SueEllen ultimately received a $15,000 loan from IAC to purchase inventory and upgrade machinery to produce her unique ice cream flavors. Through her increased volume and capacity, she has been able to gain access to more events to promote and showcase her products and to collaborate more with other businesses to produce pop-up events.
Raising Awareness about Mental Health Issues
SueEllen is also committed to giving back to her community. A pastry chef for over 12 years, she finds great comfort in enjoying ice cream and “eating your feelings” when one is sad. Driven by her desire to share this comfort with her community and spread awareness about mental health issues, she ties in mental health themes throughout her business. She is also an advocate for other street vendors, donating 20% of her profits through a fundraiser she started to support IAC’s emergency street vendor fund.
Are you a CDFI with a great borrower story to share?
Submit your #CDFIstory to OFN!
Your client success stories illustrate what it means to deliver opportunity for all. They help OFN demonstrate how CDFIs work to help create good family-wage jobs, decent affordable homes, healthy foods, and so much more.