A year ago today, on January 18, 2019, Bartleby’s Ice Cream Cakes became an officially registered LLC in the state of Illinois. There are a lot of dates that I could call our birthday—the day I delivered my first ice cream cake to a stranger (as opposed to, say, my husband); the day I left my office job; the day I launched the website; and other milestones. But I’m choosing this one because, frankly, it’s nice to have something to celebrate in mid-January.
One of our first cakes. Not actually made of ice cream, but thematically appropriate.
In the year since we started, we’ve created over 130 custom orders, every one of them made completely from scratch. Our quality has grown by leaps and bounds—I was proud of my original recipes, but after a year of refining them I'm REALLY proud. It’s been so much fun this past year to continually create new recipes too, from Brandy Alexander ice cream for Father’s Day to Apple Cider ice cream in the fall. I cannot wait to bring those specials back for their first encore in 2020.
And I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the new recipes that we’ve been testing all this month: vegan ice cream! Now when you go to our ordering site you’ll find seven vegan options along with our dairy ice cream flavors. This vegan ice cream is rich, creamy, smooth, balanced, and delicious. I’m so pleased to be able to offer it to all those who can’t or don’t eat dairy. The rest of you should try it too—I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The traditional first anniversary gift is delicious vegan ice cream.
A year ago, this business was a one-woman show, but I’m grateful to say that’s no longer the case. Now there’s also Rhonda, the goddess of customer relations, whom most of you already know through her endlessly helpful emails, phone calls, and texts. There’s Leticia, the friendly face you’ll usually see next to mine at markets and special events, if she’s not busy chasing down customers with business cards and samples. There’s Marisol, who can make the most divine French pastries but also lends her immense skills to baking our cookies, brownies, and blondies. There’s Ezlius, a powerhouse in the kitchen who has supercharged our productivity while also keeping our pots so, so shiny. And the other folks who have pitched in along the way: Maxine, Zean, and Manu. Thank you all so much for being excited about ice cream cakes and willing to lend your time, bodies, and talents to this endeavor.
Thank you also to everyone who has taken a chance on our baby business by including us in your celebrations. Thank you to my friends who have loyally ordered ice cream from the start and helped me get the word out. Thank you to our repeat customers who support us not only financially but also spiritually by showing your continued enthusiasm for what we do. Thank you to my fellow business owners who’ve shared advice, opinions, referrals, commiseration, and delicious food. And the biggest thank you to my family, who have put up with all kinds of craziness, and whom I hope I’ve begun to repay with samples, leftovers, taste tests, and free birthday cakes.
Here’s to next year!