Her after-school job: running her own ice cream business
There are plenty of young entrepreneurs running food businesses at CommonWealth Kitchen, the shared space in Dorchester. High school junior Grace Connor is the youngest. Earlier this year, at 16, she launched Little G Ice Cream Co., and churns dense and deeply flavored ice cream in inventive combinations loaded with mix-ins she bakes from scratch.
The Milton Academy student tried before to rent space at the food hub’s first culinary incubator — CropCircle Kitchen in Jamaica Plain — for a cookie business, but she wasn’t admitted. After all, she was only 8. Now, on Saturdays and Sundays, Connor, a wisp of a girl who says she eats ice cream every day, rolls out of bed before daybreak and heads to CommonWealth to craft the rich, creamy bases for the frozen dessert, and bake brownies, blondies, cookies, and more. Triple Cookie Dough has chunks of chocolate chip, double chocolate, and sugar cookie dough embedded into full-blown vanilla bean ice cream; Salted Caramel Cheesecake Blondie is generously salted caramel ice cream with swirls of cheesecake and brown sugar blondie chunks. For the S’mores flavor, Connor makes the marshmallows and torches them, like you would creme brulee, blending the gooey swirls and graham cracker crust pieces into rich chocolate ice cream.
The ice creams are packaged in squat, clear jars ($7 for 8 ounces; $12 for 16 ounces), and Connor’s mom, Melissa Schneider, helps label containers. “I boss her around a little bit, but she understands,” says Connor. The entrepreneur also delivers ice cream within the Greater Boston area on weekend afternoons, and her dad, Michael Connor, helps with the driving. “My parents are very supportive,” she says. The ice cream maker spends her evenings testing recipes for new flavors and dealing with paperwork. How does the student do it? “I’m organized,” Connor says. “I do my homework at school. When I get home, I focus on business.” Little G Ice Cream Co. might just one day turn into something big. Available at Siena Farms South End, 106 Waltham St., 617-422-0030; Bee’s Knees Supply Co., 1316 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, 617-277-2337; on Saturdays at Hingham Farmers’ Market beginning May 7; or to order for delivery go to www.littlegicecreamco.com.