Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for a cone of “Ice Ice Mikey” (not one, but a blend of three vanillas in one lick) or the “Mac Daddy” sandwich (a twist on the traditional ice cream sandwich, imagine a tasty, half-waffle, filled with any ice cream ‘of your choice)! So many heavenly flavors and entertaining names on the menu, you can’t help but order a double scoop cup to go. Not even the heavy snowfall or cool temperatures will stop us from craving a scoop of Mikey Likes It Ice Cream’s “Truffle Shuffle” (a chocolate and marshmallow explosion in your mouth).
Besides the tasty menu, the EatNom team waits in line for another reason. It’s the story behind the scoop that makes each lick a little cooler. The black owner and ice cream extraordinaire, Cole, has a story to share. Years before he was selling ice cream, Cole was dealing drugs in that very same neighborhood. After an arrest for his behavior, he was determined to better his path. Cole earned a college degree and took entrepreneur business classes to prepare for a life on the right side of the tracks. It wasn’t until after his dear aunt’s death, when he was cleaning out her apartment, that he stumbled upon her vanilla ice cream recipe and discovered his passion for this dessert. Creating and churning ice cream gave Cole a focus that he could build into a business. It started with selling ice cream from his house, then parading around an ice cream cart in Lower East Side. This eventually led to opening the doors to his Lower East Side location in 2014. Cole demonstrates that anyone can turn their lives around with the right mindset and ambition and be a model for their community.
This notable New York ice cream shop offers a selection of pop culture-inspired homemade, organic, and all-natural ice cream prepared for a wide variety of dietary needs. Yep, this means all of our vegan and dairy-free lovers will also find a flavor that makes their hearts melt (sample “The Cookie Jar” for a dairy-free option and “Incredible Hulk” for a vegan option). Our EatNom team has a sweet spot for ice cream, and we’ve tried our fair share. It might be cold out, but once you taste this ice cream, you’ll be thinking warm fuzzy thoughts. Take a trip to the Lower East Side or Harlem location, and the owner, Michael “Mikey” Cole, himself will dish up a flavor that satisfies your sweet tooth.
Like many small businesses, Cole had to temporarily close his two shops during COVID-19. They are open again with strict health guidelines but check the site for limited hours. Always motivated to build genuine relationships with his customers and give back to the community, Cole made an effort to continue bringing cheer with his delicious ice cream. To do this, given the parameters of COVID-19, he ingeniously switched over to the Messenger app. If a customer messages him for a pint of “Southern Hospitality” (ice cream filled with praline pecans and chunks of pecan pie) just as the name implies, Cole heads over in an instant to make the delivery. Additionally, amid the pandemic, Cole continues to positively impact the community by making it a priority to donate food weekly to those in need. Cole’s efforts during COVID-19 are just one instance of his high respect for his community. In observance, at the beginning of February, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream was presented with the New York State Empire Award. This award is highly sought after and honors small businesses that have dedicated ample time to impact their community positively. Cole is incredibly deserving of this recognition because, in these unprecedented times when many businesses were solely focused on staying afloat, he chose (and still does) to uplift the community.
Take a stroll by Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, and you are sure to see a long line of ice cream lovers. One might say he is waiting in line for a scoop of Cole’s unique vegan “Eat To Heal” (a refreshing blueberry hibiscus ice cream with a pineapple and cayenne pepper swirl). Ask someone else, and he may say he must meet the creator behind J-Zay’s personal ice cream flavor. Another might be patiently waiting in line to taste for themselves why this ice cream is the talk of the media. However, it’s the relationships that Cole builds with each customer and the contributions he makes to those who can’t afford ice cream that ultimately keep people coming. In the challenging times of COVID-19, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream shows why we must continue to support local businesses.