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Rodney Daisy is from Philadelphia, where the “staple frozen treat” is Italian popsicle.

It’s not that popular here in Louisville.

Daisy said her kids would enjoy the frozen treats every time they visit Philadelphia, but when they got home they weren’t available in Louisville.

“After the gazillionth time the kids asked about this, I said, ‘Wait a minute. Maybe we can bring the water ice here, ”Daisy said. “That’s how it all started.”

Philly’s Best Frozen Desserts was born about six years ago and has grown bit by bit, he said. In the fall of 2018, Daisy began operating out of the Chef Space kitchen incubator at 1812 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. to perfect his recipe. He started installing take-out freezers at convenience stores, then turned to a mobile food truck.

Rodney Daisy, owner of Philly's Best Frozen Desserts, prepares a treat for a customer on a busy Sunday afternoon at his location at 3912 Bardstown Road in Louisville, Ky. June 14, 2020

On June 7, the company took another step forward and opened a brick and mortar restaurant at 3912 Bardstown Road.

“Before I started this, I didn’t know there were so many people from the northeast here,” Daisy said. “The other day I was at Home Depot driving the truck and this guy came out right in front of me with his hands up and yelled, ‘Where have you been? I missed this whole thing. my life, where have you been to? ‘ We get this stuff all the time now. “

Philly’s Best Frozen Desserts serves 15 flavors of Italian popsicles, which Daisy describes as a smoother, creamier version of crushed ice. The shop also serves gelati, or a cup of vanilla ice cream layered with your choice of popsicle flavor. There are flavors like strawberry, blue raspberry, lemon, and even Swedish goldfish flavored popsicle, served in small, medium, or large portions for $ 3, $ 4, and $ 6.

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Daisy said he plans to close the store between December and February and then “do the hype for spring” every year. The candy store is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

Chef Space Director Tom Murro said Daisy’s story is a perfect example of what Chef Space is supposed to do for novice restaurateurs. He was able to operate out of the incubator with less overhead for about a year before going out on his own.

“He makes a fantastic product, and it’s really nostalgic for everyone who grew up in this field,” said Murro.

In business since 2015, Chef Space is Louisville’s first kitchen incubator. It was started by Community Ventures, a nonprofit community development group committed to improving the lives of residents of West Louisville. The 13,000 square foot facility offers several food preparation stations, storage space and training opportunities for its members.

Rodney Daisy, owner of Philly's Best Frozen Desserts, chats with customers while phoning them for two frozen treats on a busy Sunday afternoon in Louisville, Ky. June 14, 2020

Of the 12 Louisville restaurant concepts launched by Chef Space, seven are still in operation: Daddy Rich’s, Black Rock Grille, UChews, Norma Jean’s Baked Goods, Naive, V-Grits and Open Caribbean Kitchen.

“We basically subsidize the first companies to get up and running and get cash,” Murro said. “Rodney was a perfect example. He ramped up production, focused on his brand and when he found the right spot, he jumped on it.”

Ernst Pierre, owner of Open Caribbean Kitchen at 4735 Poplar Level Road, said Chef Space is a great place to figure things out, but you have to be willing to work to make your brand successful.

“Chef Space is a great place to start and figure out where you want to be,” Pierre said. “It’s also a great place to fail. I had to figure out the pricing, the marketing, all of those things on my own. But as long as you have a good product, you can survive any storm. . I’m lucky my job where I worked before that gave me the experience I needed not to be afraid to knock on doors. ”

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Daisy said business has been stable since the opening of Philly’s Best Frozen Desserts in the Buechel neighborhood of Louisville earlier this month. Many people have heard about it through word of mouth, in the car, or on social media. Others have heard about it through Murro’s advertising efforts through Chef Space.

Conor Cheser, 5, tries out a few samples before choosing the

“A few guys showed up yesterday in Philadelphia Eagles jerseys,” Daisy said. “They just told me, you have a new friend. ‘”

Dahlia Ghabour: 502-582-4497; [email protected]; Twitter: @dghabour. Support strong journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/subscribe.

Chef area

WHAT: A kitchen incubator in Louisville’s West End that offers 13,000 square feet of kitchen prep space, storage, food industry connections, and business training opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses related to the ‘food.

OR: 1812 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

HOW TO RENT A SPACE: Contact Principal Tom Murro at [email protected] to rent kitchen space or register for classes, which will resume in the fall.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit chefspage.org.

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