Updated: Oct 25, 2018
Thank you for visiting my website and blog. You are now privy to my very first entry – thank goodness for grammar check!
My name is Nicole Frankel. Originally from the beautiful state of Virginia, I moved to the Big Apple and met my husband, at a Redskins bar (Go Skins!) in Manhattan shortly after. Fast forward to ten years later, and we have 3 young, fancy-free and footloose kids.
Because things apparently weren’t quite crazy enough for me at home, I made the decision to start my own business last year.
I started Yum Actually in 2017 after Boss Lady Eleanor went on a complete fruit and veggie strike. These basic food groups became her enemy, and she went through a period where she flat out refused to eat anything that wasn’t a simple carbohydrate.
So, I took desperate measures and did what any resourceful parent would: I relied on the good ol’ art of deception and tricked her into eating fruit by sneaking it into her favorite dessert – ice cream. The natural creaminess of banana complimented the creaminess of the ice cream so perfectly that you would never know that the main ingredient is a healthy food! The ending result is an ice cream that’s a bit better for you but still delicious.
While starting my own business was undoubtedly a scary leap into the unknown, I’ve had so much fun in the process.
What I enjoy most so far is that I feel like every single day I am conquering a new fear. I am steering my own ship and have full control about where it goes (although, I am a terrible driver so that might not be the best analogy, but you get my drift). I also get to drop my daughter off at school in ice cream-stained sweats, and I’ve learned that the stuff I thought I hated (like writing blogs) is actually quite enjoyable.
I also love that I have the opportunity to give back to the community. Very early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I decided that I wanted to extend my personal values into my company values by supporting a children’s charity. A portion of proceeds from Yum Actually will support Ronald McDonald House’s Share a Night program, which helps ensure that sick children can stay close to their families during hospital stays.
But starting Yum Actually hasn’t been all fun and ice cream, and I know as I continue to venture on this exciting journey, there will always be room for growth.
Like most busy moms with endless to-do lists, I have difficulty knowing which tasks to prioritize. Because I am in charge of every single aspect of the business right now, including product development, manufacturing, finance, marketing, and operations, I am always faced with the internal question, “Should I be doing task A or task B right now?”
It’s also worth noting that I have lost count of the number of batches of ice cream I’ve had to make with babies hanging from both my right and my left leg vying like tiny (yet adorable) vultures for a small bite.
Despite these adorable distractions, I have spent all of 2018 perfecting my formula, creating flavors (the fun part), and sourcing the best tasting ingredients from suppliers - all while limiting the sugar content so that your little ones can still take their naps, even after eating their Yum Bar. This means I spend a lot of time in my 50-square-foot Manhattan kitchen, that my hands are calloused from the continuous dishwashing, and that my (very unfortunate) neighbors are likely convinced that I own a chainsaw due to the sounds of the loud Vitamix Blender coming from my apartment.
The remainder of the year I will be searching for ways to graduate from my kitchen, by finding a co-packer to make my product in a certified dairy facility. I will also be collaborating with store buyers to get these products on nearby shelves (no judgment if you desperately open a package in the store for your veggie-deprived little ones). Although I have my days of frustration and feeling like the I am trying to move a mountain, I will not give up on my dream to provide kids with a better ice cream option while supporting a good cause in the process.
Some days I can’t tell if my children are screaming for ice cream, or just plain screaming, but regardless, I’m so happy to have you here with us on this ongoing adventure.