Founded in 2021 by Ian Elmore-Moore, Glacier’s Italian Ice is a local Atlanta business with a mission that extends beyond its tasty offerings. It’s part of a larger initiative designed to provide a safe, educational, and employment-oriented environment for Atlanta’s male youth, particularly as an alternative to the Atlanta “water boys” through its Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP).

The “water boys” are a familiar sight on Atlanta’s busy streets and intersections, where many young men sell water to support themselves. This long-standing tradition highlights important discussions about poverty, entrepreneurship, and teen safety. Elmore-Moore, who grew up in New Jersey, saw an opportunity to make a positive change.

“I grew up with Italian ice being a staple of summer in New Jersey, but it wasn’t really available in Atlanta. During the pandemic, when I saw young men selling water on the corner here, it made me realize the need for safe employment opportunities for them,” said Elmore-Moore. “That’s when I decided to combine my love for Italian ice with a mission to mentor and employ young men in our community.”

The company began with a simple idea: use Italian ice carts to teach kids life skills and provide them with work experience. By summer 2021, the business had expanded, attracting many local youths, keeping them engaged and safe, and ultimately evolving into the YEP.

The YEP is about equipping participants with real-world skills and opportunities. The program includes intensive mentorship that emphasizes hard work, humility, honesty, and hospitality. Over the course of two years, participants learn everything from basic communication and soft skills to advanced business management, including budgeting, profit and loss analysis, and even making the Italian ice themselves.

This year, Glaciers Italian Ice was accepted into and graduated from the BeltLine Business Ventures accelerator. This program, launched by the BeltLine Business Solutions Office in partnership with The Center by Lendistry and CVM Worldwide, aims to help small businesses grow and secure permanent locations on the Atlanta BeltLine.

Jalani Traxler, Glacier’s Ice Program Administrator, shared their experience with BBV, “One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of marketing and how effective social media can be in spreading the word about our story and who we are as a company. The skills we acquired through BBV are crucial for our business’s growth and the advancement of our mission.”

BBV provided Glaciers Italian Ice with invaluable resources and knowledge, helping them navigate the complexities of running a small business. From financial management to effective marketing strategies, the program equipped them with the tools necessary for sustainable growth.

Looking to the future, Glacier’s Italian Ice continues to strive for growth and impact. With plans to expand to new locations, the organization is dedicated to providing more opportunities for Atlanta’s youth. The goal is clear: to create a sustainable model that keeps young people safe, educated, and employed while serving the community delicious Italian ice.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the Beltline Business Ventures Accelerator, applications are now open through June 28th. Apply here.

June 25, 2024

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