A Black-Owned Business Near Me: A Chicago woman turns a sweet hobby into a new business after being laid off during the pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) — A Chicago business born out of the pandemic is creating more than just ice cream after one woman turned her sweet hobby into a new career.

“I actually bought a machine to do something fun — learn how to make ice cream with my kids, and the ice cream machine came the day before it went down,” Ida Nelson said.

Nelson was a former executive assistant from North Lawndale. Now, she owns Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream & Treats, based out of an incubator space in East Garfield Park.

“I wanted to do my part to create happiness, joy and peace and then create resources for our hurting community,” Nelson said.

Ida is one of 4,800 black-owned businesses in the Chicago area.

She said it’s more than ice cream, but it’s about creating opportunities. She employs seven people and will add more to meet growing demand.

Starting Wednesday, the Museum of Ice Cream on Michigan Avenue is featuring two Ida flavors during Black History Month.

RELATED: ABC 7 Chicago celebrates Black History Month

“We thought it was extremely important to partner with a local black business,” said Kimberly Lawson with the Museum of Ice Cream.

“I tell my kids that by making the decision to be good every day, we make black history. I’m a reflection of what good can come from North Lawndale, I’m North Lawndale,” Nelson said. “I’m very happy that people in my community and town will have the opportunity to experience this, but people around the world – ice cream lovers from all over the world – will experience this.”

Nelson sells 50 of her flavors online, including 12 vegan options. While visitors to the museum can sample in person this month, look out for Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream and Treats coming to North Lawndale this summer.

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