Black History Month: Celebrating Small Businesses, Community Leaders, and Creators that Inspire Us
Messenger is celebrating Black History Month and encouraging conversation around the impact of the Black Community as people make their voices heard, raise awareness, and inspire action. For the month of February and beyond, we will spotlight inspiring Black small businesses, community leaders, and artists. We’ll also share more information on how you can support them. From rising stars in business to those on the hunt for Olympic gold, to social movements and the people behind them, you’ll hear about how Black history is being written across our platforms every day.
Today we’re highlighting the “Best Ice Cream Maker of All Time”, Michael Cole from Mikey Likes It Ice Cream in New York City. When Michael was growing up, he often went to his Aunt Lucy’s house after school, who happened to be taking cooking classes at the time. One day the cooking teacher asked him to participate and Michael made a pineapple upside down cake. He was hooked. Years later when his aunt passed he found an old recipe of hers for making ice cream and the rest is history.
“Ice cream fell into my lap,” says Michael. “I wanted to create comfort food that would remind people of their childhoods and take them away from their problems. Today we are using ice cream as a medium to share messages of love and to uplift people. We are also intentional about using popular Black culture references to name our ice cream flavors, that’s something that isn’t being done elsewhere.”
Part of the brand ethos for Mikey Likes It Ice Cream is to build relationships with customers and their community. One way they do this is through simple conversations on Messenger, especially during the pandemic when customers aren’t coming into their stores as often. Today the business is taking orders and has new customers from all over the country. Michael is also passionate about giving back to his local community and supporting other local entrepreneurs. He started a coalition of local small businesses in his neighborhood and often shares tips and tricks via Messenger with other entrepreneurs in the ice cream business. He also gives back by making food donations each Thursday to those in need.
“Messenger has helped us keep the feeling of building and maintaining relationships through one-to-one personal messages,” says Michael. “People are engaging with us by showing us love and we’re engaging by reaching out to them via Messenger.”
Check out Mikey Likes It Ice Cream on Facebook or Instagram, and give him a shout on Messenger to show support or even order “Southern Hospitality,” the most popular flavor! You can also learn more about Mikey Likes it Ice Cream and other amazing small businesses through Facebook Elevate, a community and learning platform to accelerate the growth of Black, Latinx and Hispanic businesses.