A farmers market favorite seeks community support to realize its brick-and-mortar dreams. Honeychild’s Sweet Creams has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to open an ice cream shop in the MKT Heights development.
With an initial goal of $5,000 and a stretch goal of $30,000 that has to be realized by the morning of June 29, Honeychild’s chef-owner Kathleen Morgan tells CultureMap the money will supplement the funds she expects to receive from an SBA loan and will cover a variety of expenses, including initial design work and drawings. Morgan says she considered crowdfunding platforms that would offer people a financial return on their investments but decided the Kickstarter model of rewards — in Honeychild’s case, everything from cooler bags and T-shirts to an ice cream party for 100 people — seemed like a more appropriate fit.
“As I started thinking about the Kickstarter and pursuing it, I tried to figure out why someone would want to invest in us when they don’t get a concrete return,” she says. "I got more excited about notions of community and what that would be like, especially in this moment we’re in where everything feels so fragmented. That’s something I could get really excited about and something I felt was more in my wheelhouse. I could speak to it. I could get behind it.”
Morgan founded her business in 2014 to make delicious frozen confections that highlighted locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. She can be found at Urban Harvest’s farmers market every Saturday morning, where fans eagerly take home pints of flavors like Cafe de Olla Coffee (made with locally roasted Katz coffee); pecan praline; or seasonal specialities like peach cobbler, pear butter, and creamed corn. Honeychild’s also offers smaller, single portion cups that can be devoured right on the spot — perfect for beating the heat.
“When I started Honeychild’s Sweet Creams in 2014, I did so to connect people to food systems and to talk about seasonality and what we grow here,” she says, “with the intent that if people know a thing, they’ll want to protect that thing.”
Business has been steady, Morgan says, but she’s grown weary of utilizing commercial kitchens with shared equipment where the rent can change suddenly. Having a dedicated space would allow her to expand production, grow her wholesale business, and raise her profile with consumers who might not recognize the Honeychild’s brand. Even though The Heights has a number of ice cream shops already, she chose the neighborhood because she’s lived there for more than five years and feels connected to it.
“I see people in The Heights every day, so I kind of know this area. There’s things happening The Heights with development and walkability. It’s the place I feel most comfortable,” she says.
“I also feel very comfortable with my ability to differentiate myself. What I’m doing is different than what other people are doing. My ability to message that will separate me from the pack.”
Honeychild’s will be in good company at M-K-T Heights, which will offer 200,000-square-feet of retail, dining, and office space across a 12-acre property. Other dining options include Mendocino Farms, the sandwich shop from California, and Da Gama, an Anglo-Indian restaurant from Oporto owners Shiva and Rick Di Virgilio. Construction is currently underway on the property, with tenants tentatively expected to open in November.