By Bria Suggs
Liz Rogers is a chef, restaurateur and the CEO and founder of Creamalicious. Creamalicious is a premium ice cream brand that pairs baked dessert with ice cream.
She’s been cooking professionally for the last 25 years. In the restaurant she currently owns is where the idea for Creamalicious began. Her restaurant, Wing Champ, is in Cincinnati, Ohio. They sell wings and a variety of desserts there.
“I started making this ice cream at one of my restaurants and selling it and the customers really loved it,” Rogers said. “For me, owning restaurants gave me an opportunity to have a customer base where I can get feedback, where I can come in and just really have a test ground that most people don’t have, you know, having customers every day all year round.”
After perfecting her concepts, she then teamed up with food scientists to work on the formulas for each flavor before finding the right manufacturer. Rogers owns the formulas, as well as the proprietary and intellectual property of Creamalicious.
“I just didn’t want to go in and ask other manufacturers if I can put my Creamalicious label on their ice cream, because if someone decided that they did not want to manufacture your product, you’d have to start over,” Rogers said. “So for me, it really gave me a lot of power to be able to take my recipes and go anywhere in the country and have it reproduced and taste the same.”
She even creates ice cream brands for other restaurateurs and companies through her ideation. Rogers was inspired by her family to pursue cooking.
“My mom always wanted her own restaurant and wasn’t able to capture that dream as a single mom taking care of four kids, so I really wanted to pay homage to her and just really help her live part of her dream through me,” Rogers said.
She specifically got into the ice cream industry because she sees it as the “world’s favorite dessert” and wanted to find ways to innovate the classic. Her flavors are Southern inspired with a culinary twist.
Although she is from Ohio, Roger has deep familial ties to the South. Some of the flavors are even based on her relatives. The flavor Aunt Poonie’s Pound Cake is named after Rogers’ godmother, who baked her pound cakes in a cast-iron skillet that has been in their family for 150 years.
A challenge for Rogers was starting a company in an industry with big-name brands that have been around for generations.
“There’s not a whole lot of space on the shelf,” Rogers said. “So to be able to get consideration, you have to fight that much harder.”
Despite being the underdog, Rogers was able to land deals with major retailers like Walmart and Target and make history.
“I’m the only African American ice cream manufacturer in mass production ever,” Rogers said.
Rogers sees Creamalicious as a step in the right direction to having more minority owned brands on retail shelves.