Ice Cream Innovator Kihana Malloy

Her Kreme & Krumbs Brand Takes Off

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! Young or old, who doesn’t like ice cream? Well, me, for one—that is until I tasted Kreme & Krumbs, the luxury brand created by entrepreneur Kihana Malloy. Kihana’s ice cream is different; it’s truly delicious. It’s to be savored. It’s, mmm, bliss to your taste buds thanks to fresh flavor combinations and wholesome recipes she creates using the finest ingredients.

For Kihana, developing the perfect product—a smooth, creamy, and full of flavor ice cream—was of utmost importance. She works with the best artisans for extracts and natural oils; sources only the best ingredients, such as the purest vanilla bean and cocoa for chocolate. “It’s not easy to make a good chocolate; it’s a really hard ice cream to achieve,” she explained. Without giving away the recipe, she divulged that she uses only five ingredients, unlike other brands, which can have up to 13 ingredients that are difficult to read, spell, or understand. Kihana began studying the science and history of ice cream in 2012; it took a while to create her signature recipes.

Kihana loathed her long-time federal government job. When downsizing happened, Kihanna could at last fulfill her desire to become an entrepreneur. She seized both the opportunity and her severance pay and opened her first business—a bakery. Three years later, however, she closed the business and went back to work for someone else. Working and commuting became a grind and with a husband and two daughters, she knew she had to make a change.

“I had an epiphany while doing the dishes. I was crying because I was so miserable at that moment. I asked, ‘what am I doing with my life?’” Then listening to the song, “Legacy” on Jay Z’s 4:44 album, the lines, “Generational wealth, that’s the key/My parents ain’t have sh** so that shift started with me.” Those lines encouraged her to try again. In August of 2019 Kreme & Krumbs opened its doors.

Business was going well; her customer base, growing. Then the pandemic hit. However, her dedicated clientele continued to support her. Kihana, along with her husband and business partner, Leon, delivered ice cream and handed purchased pints to customers at the door. Staying connected with her mentors—the few other Black ice cream shop owners across the country proved to be a saving grace. In group chats they shared business tips, industry news, and inspiration.

Though committed to her path as a Black female entrepreneur, Kihana faces many challenges—securing capital, the biggest. Even with great revenue, good credit, and a good-looking brand, she still comes up against hurdles her white contemporaries do not. Establishing relationships and obtaining contracts with vendors has been an uphill battle as well. Kihana described the obstacle that many of the companies she would like to do business with are family-owned and are not very open to working with businesses outside of their circle. This keeps her from getting better deals and lines of credit.

Nonetheless, she clearly enjoys the upside of owning Kreme & Krumbs. “I get to do what I want to do in my [own] business and I’m able to be creative,” she said. She values the quality time spent with her two daughters and the fun she has working with her husband. “I manage my time better,” Kihana confesses. What is also fun are the Kreme & Krumbs promotions and activities like the ice cream workshops she holds twice a month for ice cream aficionados over 18. In the fall, the Kreme & Krumbs three-month subscription plan will launch offering ice cream lovers nationwide three pints of their favorite flavors shipped along with surprise novelty treats, which might be Kihana’s signature ice cream sandwich, a good old-fashioned drumstick ice cream cone, or maybe Kreme & Krumbs merchandise.

Keeping customers happy and spreading the word that Kreme & Krumbs ice cream is bliss to your taste buds… that’s what Kihana Malloy is all about these days.

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