Runners-Up: $5,000

Bold Spoon Creamery
Bold Spoon Creamery is a small-batch, premium ice cream producer nestled on our farm in Park Hills, Missouri. We craft unique seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Chai alongside perennial favorites like Goat Cheese & Fig, using many fruits and herbs grown on our land. Our success wouldn't be possible without our commitment to local sourcing. We prioritize sourcing ingredients from regional farmers to bolster local business and contribute to regional economic well-being. As our production expands, so will the demand for local ingredients, directly benefiting regional farmers.

Our story is a testament to perseverance with beginning operations in May of 2020, in St. Louis, Missouri, during the beginning of the pandemic. We initially aimed to sell wholesale primarily to restaurants; however, with the pandemic shutting down the hospitality industry, we pivoted. We launched an online store, delivered samples to neighbors, securing our first online order on May 2nd, 2020. Within a few months, we were selling at farmers' markets, then a few stores. Now, you can find our pints in 90+ stores throughout Missouri and Illinois, and retail locations within two professional sports stadiums in St. Louis, CITYPark and Enterprise Center, and we are contracting with America's Center in St. Louis, home of an XFL team and large conferences.

The current inflationary economic environment is challenging, with increased input and overhead costs. To combat increased costs, we’ve enhanced processes to reduce production time, resulting in reduced cost of goods sold. Our team produces more than before in the same timeframe. The seasonality of ice cream consumption is also challenging. To combat seasonality (slower in winter), I began engagements with food service management companies that oversee university and hospital dining programs; which do not have a seasonal headwind. In January, we began selling ice cream in on-campus markets at a local university and in the cafeteria of a local hospital system.

Our commitment extends to actively contribute to community enhancement in St. Francois County, the home of our production facility, since moving production to our farm in May of 2021. St. Francois County is a distressed community, as measured by the Economic Innovation Group, suffering from a high unemployment and poverty rate. We aspire to uplift our community through job creation. As production expands, we expect to add five part-time production jobs in the next 18-months.

We believe in fostering a love for learning and welcome students from our region to our farm. Our field trips expose elementary and middle schoolers to the science and math behind ice cream making, while high school students gain insights into small business fundamentals. For many urban students, this is their first encounter with agriculture, showcasing the link between farming and production.

Bold Spoon is a testament to community spirit, economic empowerment, and creating a space for learning. An infusion of capital from the Barclays Small Business Big Wins Contest will fuel our mission, allowing us to create jobs, support local agriculture, and uplift the economic landscape in our region.