Zsa’s Ice Cream
During this week’s episode of Small Business Saturday Philadelphia, we sat down with Danielle Jowdy, owner and founder of Zsa’s Ice Cream, a local ice cream brand that serves up super-premium ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.
Danielle, Zsa’s owner, founded Zsa’s Ice Cream in 2011. Zsa’s started as a hobby – Danielle was making ice cream on the side and selling the ice cream at different farmers markets on the weekend while working a typical 9-5. Working full-time while developing the business gave Danielle time to learn what she needed to achieve in order to get the business up and running. When she finally felt that she was ready to launch, she quit her full-time job and took the leap.
Danielle knew what she wanted to name her business right away – Zsa’s.
Zsa is a nickname that Danielle and her sister, Rebecca, call each other. When they were younger, they wanted to come up with a cool nickname by combining both of their names. Amongst all the searching, they saw the name “Zsa” somewhere and the rest is history. When the business was first developing, Danielle was advised not to name the business “Zsa’s.” However, Danielle didn’t agree. She loved the name because not only was it personal to her, it was unique, short, and memorable.
Zsa’s began production out of a rented bakery warehouse kitchen then transitioned into making ice cream out of a rented kitchen in a private elementary school. The business sold ice cream out of their own branded ice cream truck at markets and local events before settling down in their current brick-and-mortar retail location. Danielle wanted the business to succeed, so she put a high-priority on getting Zsa’s placed in grocery stores. This was important so that the business was still making money during the winter months. So, Danielle went around, in person, to different gourmet grocery stores throughout the area to pitch Zsa’s to the grocery provider. It worked – now Zsa’s is in over 50 local grocery stores.
Zsa’s is now working on developing their new retail store is located in Mt. Airy!
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, Danielle has to wear a lot of different hats around the business. However, her favorite has always been testing and developing the new ice cream flavors. What are the Zsa’s fan favorites? WHYY considers their Salted Toffee Almond Graham Cracker ice cream sandwich with vanilla ice cream to be their best. Another crowd pleaser is their version of an Oreo Cookie ice cream sandwich. This option is two dark chocolate wafers on the outside with sweet cream ice cream or coffee ice cream in the middle. Check out their social media for some amazing foodie pics of the ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.