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Start Your Business Success Stories

Small Business Snapshot: eCreamery

Small Business Snapshot: eCreamery Credit: eCreamery

Company name: eCreamery
Website: www.ecreamery.com
Founded: 2007

Owners Abby Jordan and Becky App shared the story behind eCreamery, an online ice cream and gelato company that allows customers to send personalized ice cream gifts.

Our motto is a life less vanilla. We love ice cream and wanted to position it as a gift item — rather than the typical flowers or candy, why not send a personalized package of ice cream?

At eCreamery, you can create your own flavor of ice-cream or gelato, name the flavor and have it shipped to your door. The website features a four-step process to design your own flavor from 35 flavors, 40 mix-ins, unique packaging choices and your own title. We have gift options for most occasions, from "thank you" packages to Father's Day packages.

Our ice cream shop opened in 2007 in a quaint little neighborhood parlor in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska. Between the long harsh winters and limited parking in the historical neighborhood, it became clear very quickly that it was going to be a very difficult business in our Midwest climate. That's when Mark Hasebroock, our original investor, had the idea to bring the ice cream weather to us via the Internet.

Our biggest challenge is just getting the word out that online ice cream and gelato gifts exist! When we began, we thought we would grow quickly via PPC and SEO, but we found that no one was even searching for "ship ice cream" eight years ago, so it made finding customers very challenging. We had a small marketing budget — difficult for launching a new product. So we began shipping samples, thinking, "Who says no to free gourmet ice cream?"

Eventually we got some media exposure from print publications and had a TV appearance on "Shark Tank" in 2012, which gave us the national exposure we needed. Beyond that, some of our other biggest challenges include cost effective advertising and maintaining competitive shipping rates.

Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.