It’s no surprise that Milk Sugar Love is a local ice cream staple for those in and around Jersey City. All of their ice cream and sweets are crafted by hand and made from organic milk, cream and Jersey produce. Macaroon ice cream sandwiches, fruity pebble ice cream and red velvet cones are just a few of the unique treats that can be found at this anything but ordinary ice cream shop. So who is behind these magical frozen creations? We sat down with Milk Sugar Love owner Emma Taylor to get the scoop!
Why did you decide to start your business? Tell us your backstory!
I have loved ice cream forever. I grew up going to Ocean City, New Jersey in the summer and enjoying my favorite Kohr’s Brothers Custard with rainbow jimmies. I am lucky my birthday falls in June because my cake of choice has always been, and always will be, an ice cream cake.
When I decided to go back to school to become a pastry chef, I knew that my goal was to open a modern ice cream shop. I churn flavors inspired by my love of travel and my experience working in restaurants. I use only fresh organic milk and cream not only because of the rich taste, but because organic means the cows are able to graze on grass that has not been treated with pesticides and the cows themselves have not been treated with either hormones or antibiotics.
I chose my shop’s name because ice cream, in its simplest form, is milk, sugar, and as with all truly great food, love.
Why do you love doing business here in Jersey City?
Jersey City has all the advantages of New York City but with a distinctive small-town feel. I love that the city and the people are so supportive of small-business. I enjoy the fact that the downtown is walkable, end to end. I have lived here for 10 years now and am amazed by how the city continues to grow and change.
What’s the most helpful piece of customer feedback you’ve received?
Remember names! Customers love to be greeted by name, to be welcomed into the store as you would welcome a friend into your home, to know that you value their continued business.
What’s your advice for other business owners or someone who wants to start a small business?
Staffing will be your biggest challenge, so be mentally prepared for it. Recruiting a team is one thing — retaining and continuously motivating them is another. Try to remind every staff member about the global effects of their actions. Even though they might not see it themselves, every action, every decision they make will have a ripple effect on a small business.
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