Local Handcrafted Happiness

Loblolly Creamery

2. Zero Hunger 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Loblolly Creamery reinvented the traditional desert of ice cream through the incorporation of localized ingredients. While traditional ice cream manufacturers often base their flavors off of popular demand, Sally Mengel, of Loblolly Creamery, has shifted her influences to the inspiration of local availability with both carbon footprint and food waste in mind.

Authors

William Donnelly

William Donnelly

Roberto Peralta

Roberto Peralta

School

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Professor

Nancy Landrum

Nancy Landrum

Innovation

Loblolly brings innovation to the world of ice cream through a dedication to local ingredients and sustainable processes. They commit to using local ingredients for their flavors and they take a pass on other flavors that may be popular but require non-local inputs. Despite the fact common flavors are frequently off the menu due to the ingredient requirements, Loblolly has created a business that brings value to the Little Rock community and the many farmers they support.

Loblolly's innovation is about more than just their delicious ice cream, they have formed a business model where sustainability is not seen as a compromise, but rather the backbone of their business and a leading reason for customer support.

Local Handcrafted Happiness

Inspiration

Sally Mengel, the founder of Loblolly, found her inspiration through her work at another local business, The Green Corner Store. While there, she noticed a void in the market: a local ice cream. To fill this void, she worked with The Green Corner Store and used her knowledge to create an ice cream with local ingredients. Her focus on local ingredients allowed her to create a low-emissions ice cream with quality ingredients supporting local farmers.

Overall impact

Loblolly prioritizes environmental sustainability by keeping the business local. They prefer to keep a small number of local flavors despite the difficulty in keeping common flavors so they can keep a low carbon footprint. The ice cream parlor is always considering the interests of the environment in addition to the bottom line.

By keeping it local and only available to the community (Loblolly does not ship), they are able to maintain high-quality ice cream and bring customers handcrafted happiness. By informing her customers of why only certain flavors are available, there is a bigger appreciation for the product and a greater understanding of environmental impact consumables can have. Through this public awareness of the impact they have, they are able to spread awareness of the impact of big corporations and help keep small shops with similar mentalities open and continue their mission.

Business benefit

Loblolly's commitment to locally-sourced ingredients has given them a reputation for unique flavors inspired by the local availability of specific ingredients. This reputation has led to Loblolly's love by tourists and locals seeking seasonally changing flavors. Sally's commitment has also helped her keep customer loyalty since the product she offers is unique compared to competitors.

Social and environmental benefit

Loblolly's innovative approach to ice cream directly benefits the local community through the support of local farmers and reduced emission outputs from their suppliers. Their commitment to local, sustainable farmers has a direct benefit to their local community and supports the practice of local farms who choose to operate with the environment in mind. Not only does Loblolly support their community financially through their purchasing, but by sourcing locally, they also reduce the output of emissions protecting both the health of their local community and the environment.

What began as a simple mission to support one approach to sustainability is accompanied by the growing number of benefits their approach provides.

Interview

Sally Mengel, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Loblolly Creamery

Loblolly Creamery

Little Rock, AR, US

Business Website: http://www.loblollycreamery.com/

Year Founded: 2011

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Loblolly Creamery is a Little Rock, Arkansas-based creamery making small batch ice cream, fizzy sodas, and other sweet treats inspired by the gardens, markets, and artisan producers of Arkansas. Every recipe is built from the ground up, using fresh, seasonal ingredients, without the use of any premixes, preservatives, colorings, and artificial stabilizers and with each flavor reflecting their community-oriented perspective and local flavors.