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Ice cream obsession becomes a business

Shown is the mobile ice cream cart that started as a class project and has gained popularity. Lovie’s Ice Cream is owned and operated by local Alyssa Newton. (Submitted photo)

COLUMBIANA–Alyssa Newton has always had an “obsession” with ice cream. She is the owner of Lovie’s Ice Cream LLC located beside Newton’s Service and Parts at 601 North Main St.

“I have been an ice cream fanatic,” she said. “I’ve been obsessed with ice cream, since the day I was born”

Her obsession may be related to all the times she recalled sharing a half gallon of ice-cream with her grandfather when she was younger. When vacationing she is always looking for ice cream shops.

It was not surprising then that she centered a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) class business project in 2017 at Columbiana High School around ice cream.

Lovie’s Ice Cream came to fruition with help from Newton’s family.

“My sister and I put our money together and we loaned the rest from my mom and dad,” she said .

Her father’s work ethic gave her inspiration and taught her to keep moving forward.

The impetus she got during the school year, combined with seeing her dad run his own business, gave her a head start.

“So, I got to pick his brain and I had school. So, I got to use both,” she said.

She was really excited about upgrading her mobile ice cream trailer this past year because she designed it from scratch.

“It was fun,” she said. “I got exactly what I wanted, working in the old one for a few years, I knew what layout worked best to get customers out the fastest.”

Lovie’s made a small expansion by adding a kiosk for graduation parties and other events. The kiosk will arrive within the next month “There’s not many in the area that do that,” she said. “I’ll take the scoopers there and I’ll have the napkins, the spoons, the bowls, everything.”

“Thank goodness for Columbiana!” Newton said when asked about pulling through the pandemic. The city supported her and she is forever thankful.

She took an increased course load at Youngstown State University during the year. Some semesters she was taking 21 credit hours to balance working long hours during the summer. The schedule change was challenging. Losing the revenue from the fair meant she was juggling more classes during the semester and working until the evening all summer.

“More work, more hours, but that’s what you had to do,” said Newton.

Newton’s sister, Hannah, and parents, Tim and Missy, are a reliable support system for her.

“So, literally, I rely on my family –my fiance Josh, my sister Hannah, and my mom and dad,” she said. “Then I have really good friends that will hop in and my grandparents when needed, because it’s hard.”

The biggest challenge she had was taking a financial gamble. “You’re putting everything at risk, it’s nerve wracking,” she said.

Since she wants to be a teacher, Lovie’s Ice Cream will provide the perfect opportunity to connect with her students.

“The communication skills, the community connection, it all helps,” she said.

Lovie’s opened in May. It will stay open through Columbiana Street Fair scheduled Sept. 9-11.

Newton is looking forward to a sense of normalcy and building her relationship with the community this summer.

She wants her customers to know when choosing Lovie’s they get the freshest locally-sourced ingredients and the cleanest environment. She is always adding menu items.

Lovie’s will be at the Canfield Fair and provides catering.

Visit Lovie’s website (www.loviesicecream.com).

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