Don’t just call founder and CEO Liz Rogers’ product ice cream. “Creamalicious is a two-in-one dessert creation, which actually started from a pastry line,” states the executive chef. “And since ice cream is the world’s number one dessert, I thought it would be great if I could get it to really taste like a sweet potato pie or a peach cobbler, but in an ice cream form. So Creamalicious pairs freshly baked pastries with premium homemade ice cream,” she says with pride. “Instead of just saying ‘delicious,’ I came up with creamalicious because it’s one of the creamiest super-premium ice creams. It’s more than a dessert; it’s an experience.”
Rogers started making Creamalicious 13 years ago at her Cincinnati restaurant, Mahogany’s at the Banks. “Most restaurants have a scoop of ice cream on their dessert list, but I wanted my customers to have something more creative that was more of an experience,” the Ohio native explains. “I would serve it in an actual [pie] crust bowl and people would say, ‘This tastes just like sweet potato pie!’ So people were always amazed that the ice cream tasted just like what flavor it said it was,” she laughs.
The Creamalicious brand has seven flavors of artisan ice cream, with the most popular being Slap Yo’ Mama Banana Pudding, Aunt Poonie’s Caramel Pound Cake, Porch Light Peach Cobbler and Thick As Thieves Pecan Pie.
Executive Advertiser to Executive Chef
Rogers owned an advertising agency for ten years, but she always had a passion for culinary arts. The self-taught executive chef didn’t go to culinary school, but she has trained people who have gone to some of the top culinary schools in the country.
“And that’s been super amazing because they got to learn from me and I got to learn from them,” she notes. When she started her first restaurant, it wasn’t just for her, it was also for her mother. “She was a single mother of four kids and the only woman welder at her workplace,” states Rogers. “I was so proud of her. But it was always her dream to own a restaurant, so I wanted her to be able to live her dreams vicariously through me,” she emotes. In fact, Rogers got her southern pastry recipes from her mother, aunt and grandmother.
Sadly, her first restaurant had to close. “Mahogany’s at the Banks was the first African American-owned restaurant in a multi-million dollar development in Cincinnati’s history,” the restaurateur says with pride. “But I ended up losing that restaurant because of the adversity and political climate,” she laments.
“I lost everything! But that’s part of my story because I worked hard and never gave up, and I got it all back,” she says with pride.
And boy, did she! After making the artisan ice cream herself for years, she found a good food scientist and manufacturer to develop the formulas for the recipes. And in 2020, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Creamalicious launched nationwide and is now in 3500 stores, including Walmart, Target and Kroger. “I actually realized how big this was when I went into the stores and saw Creamalicous on the shelves and saw people buying it,” exclaims Rogers. And she says it was a blessing that her mother got to see it before she passed away.
Cuisine Noir Magazine is the country’s first Black food publication, launched in 2009 and dedicated to connecting the African diaspora through food, drink and travel. To read the rest of this article and more, visit www.cuisinenoirmag.com.