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Exploring Life & Business with Ali Converse of American Honey Creamery and Coffee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Converse. 

Hi Ali, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My sister, Mindy, and I opened American Honey Creamery on December 8th, 2018. We opened as a mobile ice cream truck that traveled southwest Florida serving homemade ice cream. On Sunday afternoons, you could find us parked outside of our local Home Depot. Throughout the week, we would serve housing communities between Parrish and Sarasota. A majority of our business also came from catering weddings, birthday parties, and other large events. In 2020, COVID changed the food truck industry. Home Depot stopped allowing us to park outside, communities canceled food truck events to prevent crowds, and all of our larger caterings had to reschedule. Mindy and I knew that to get our business through the pandemic, we’d have to think outside of the box. We started offering ice cream delivery to our customers’ doorsteps! After several months of this, we decided to take the leap of faith and settle into a brick-and-mortar storefront. Before COVID, our loyal customers were always asking how to get our ice cream throughout the week. During COVID, we could’ve benefited from having a set pick-up location rather than delivery. We weren’t sure where the pandemic was going to take us, but we figured that either way, a storefront was the best step to grow our business. On March 2nd, 2021, American Honey Creamery and Coffee Co. opened its doors in Palmetto, FL. In our storefront, we offer locally roasted coffee, Amish baked goods, and our homemade ice cream! 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The first obstacle Mindy and I faced was our age. When we first started on this journey, I was 16 and Mindy was 18. We’re now 22 and 25. Lenders, landlords, and other business professionals like to see that people have experience, credit, and other things that can take years to build. Owning a food truck also meant signing up for challenges such as mechanical issues, unpredictable weather, and unforeseen cancellations. Mindy and I had our fair share of truck breakdowns, generator issues leading to melted product, weather cancellations, and other unexpected obstacles that were out of our control. The Covid-19 pandemic was the biggest challenge we’ve faced so far! With our storefront, we’re learning how to work around staffing and product shortages. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about American Honey Creamery and Coffee Co.?
At American Honey Creamery and Coffee Co., we’re proud to say that customers will rarely get a scoop of ice cream that wasn’t churned the day before! We’re known for our creative ice cream and coffee flavors. Mindy and I come up with our monthly flavors based on what produce is in season or what holidays are coming up. This July, we offered a Cucumber ice cream. September was “Cream of the Crop”, a browned butter sweet corn ice cream. For October, we’re scooping “Monster Mash”, a malted vanilla ice cream with pieces of Twix, Snickers, Reeses, M&M’s, and Three Musketeers. We have a list of signature drinks that have become almost as popular as our ice cream! Mindy and I have taken great care to make our shop known for its friendliness and small-town feel. We want customers to feel welcomed like they’re walking into our kitchen at home when they step into our shop. We love when customers turn into regulars who then turn into friends. Most importantly, our goal is to make everybody’s life a little sweeter. 

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Image Credits
Christina Feeley

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