Pandemic challenges local ice cream maker to find sweet success with new business

Posted at 6:48 AM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 16:46:16-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The past year has been challenging for so many local businesses. But one ice cream maker took that challenge and ran with it - finding sweet success along the way.

Griffin Schultz started Yummo Ice Cream during the pandemic. He had been working at the Elm Street Bakery in East Aurora, and making desserts there. When COVID-19 began forcing restaurants to cut back, he decided it was time to make ice cream his full-time job.

Griffin Schultz, Yummo Ice Cream founder

"I'm able to put energy into something I didn't think I'd be able to start for another decade," he explained.

He started his Yummo ice cream journey with a $40 ice cream maker, and began experimenting with ingredients and textures. He uses locally-sourced dairy, from Teacup Farm in Barker, and Yummo has flavors you won't find other places - including "Lemon Poppy Yogurt," "Sweet Potato Pie" and "Rice Pudding."

Sweet Potato Pie Yummo Ice Cream

"Ice cream doesn't have to be what we're used to seeing in scoop shops and grocery store shelves. It can be more interesting than that," said Griffin.

Fig & Leaf Yummo Ice Cream

These days, Griffin is selling Yummo at five locations across Western New York:
Fresh Catch Poke
Elm Street Bakery
Farm Shop Buffalo
Her Sanctuary
Thorpe's Farm Store

You can also order the ice cream through his Instagram, @yummoicecreambars. He sells pints for $9, and half-pints for about $6.

His top seller is called "Chocolate Problems," and Griffin says it's unlike any chocolate ice cream you've ever had.

"This is milky chocolate ice cream with hot fudge and cookie," he explained. "More of a natural chocolate flavor. The ice cream is infused with raw cacao, so you get more of that fruity bitterness."

He also uses inspiration from around Western New York as he creates his flavors. For example, "Flapjack Shortstack" was inspired by the local maple season, and "Sunset Sherbet" he described as looking like a Buffalo sunset.

When the Farm Shop on Lexington Avenue started selling Yummo in January, it was an immediate hit.

"When he finally rolled up with his ice cream a couple months ago - about time!" laughed Jack Ladziak, who helps run the store.

Griffin says those reactions help keep him going, as does the support from shoppers who see the value in buying local, quality products, especially in difficult times.

"That's community," said Ladziak. "We're here for each other. that's how we get through these things."