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By Danielle Sanders, The Chicago Defender
Chef Liz Rogers shares her Southern family heritage through her ice cream baked from scratch in its entirety and intertwined in a super-premium ice cream base. Chef Liz Rogers is the Founder, President, and Executive Chef of Creamalicious Ice Creams.
As one of the only African American-owned national ice cream brands in mass production, Chef Liz crafts her blissfully Southern artisan desserts by celebrating her roots and community. The award-winning flavors are inspired by Chef Liz, and her family recipes passed down from four generations in the South.
Creamalicious is a 2-in-1 dessert that pairs freshly baked pastries with homemade ice cream. Flavors include:
- AUNT POONIES CARAMEL POUNDCAKE
- SLAP YO’ MOMMA BANANA PUDDING
- RIGHT AS RAIN RED VELVET CHEESECAKE
- THICK AS THIEVES PECAN PIE
- PORCH LIGHT PEACH COBBLER
- GRANMA GIGI’S SWEET POTATO PIE
- UNCLE CHARLES BROWN SUGA BOURBON CAKE
Under the watchful eye of her mother and grandmother, Chef Liz honed her passion for cooking while growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. Her never-ending love and enthusiasm led to opening hot-spot restaurants. She has been highlighted in the media for her highly sought-after food and inspiring work with the community. With Creamalicious Ice Creams now launched nationwide, Chef Liz is looking forward to sharing her Southern roots and fusion of flavor.
Chicago Defender: What inspired such a line of decadent treats?
Chef Liz Rogers: Yeah, I’m an executive chef and restauranteur by trade. Ice cream is the world’s number one dessert. Everybody loves ice cream or some rendition of ice cream. I wanted to get the ice cream to taste exactly like a dessert, like a piece of sweet potato pie. We have four generations of family-owned recipes. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about going back to the days when you were younger and going to your grandmother’s house after church and having a slice of peach cobbler after dinner.
Chicago Defender: What’s behind the ice cream flavor names?
Chef Liz Rogers: Each flavor has a story and history behind it. For instance, Aunt Poonies Carmel Poundcake is named after my godmother. She made all of her pound cakes and cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. This skillet is 150 years old and has been in my family for generations. So this isn’t just a dessert; it’s an experience. It brings you into the brand and captures consumers.
Chicago Defender: It is significant to have an ice cream brand created by a black woman on shelves in stores. What were the challenges you faced, and how did you push through those to be sold across the county in national chains?
Chef Liz Rogers: There are no African American ice cream manufacturers on the shelves. So the biggest challenge was getting retailers to believe that we had a great product and could keep up with the demand. It was challenging looking for investors and support too. You have to convince a person to believe in the vision, and you have to get them to understand what you’re trying to do. It was about finding and developing strategic partnerships but also not waiting for opportunities. You have to be willing to create opportunities for yourself. You can’t be afraid of rejection.
So many minority businesses are extremely undercapitalized, so you have to put a lot of sweat equity into your brand and have a plan to make it work, and you must have a solid team.
Chicago Defender: Now, is there one flavor of your ice cream that is the most popular right now?
Chef Liz Rogers: Yes, the slap your mama banana pudding is a top seller. Besides the catchy name, this dessert is made with pure banana puree and actual banana pudding. Most banana ice creams are just a vanilla base with artificial banana flavoring. Since ours has real banana pudding with homemade shortbread cookies intertwined in the ice cream base, it tastes like the banana pudding you are used to having. I really think that’s what makes it such a huge seller.
Chicago Defender: What do you love most about what you do?
Chef Liz Rogers: It’s really about the dream. At my core, I am an entrepreneur. I’m an artist and a creative. I wanted to bring that culinary artistry into this pint because other than that, it’s just ice cream. We want to inspire others to go for their dreams no matter how hard or how “out there” they may seem. If you have a passion, go for it and never be afraid to fail. Chase your dream until you catch it.
It’s a dream come true for me to be one of the first African Americans and the only African American ice cream manufacturer in mass production globally. I want to open those doors for other entrepreneurs that have ice cream brands and other sweet shops that have dreams of being on the shelf as well.
The Creamalicious Brand can be found in stores at Walmart, Target, Meijer, and more. In addition, the brand ships online nationwide at their website, https://www.socreamalicious.com/.