BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | An East Village ice cream shop won a $30,000 grant earlier this month to continue its work helping neighborhood young people. The grant was sponsored by Squarespace and also the New York Knicks Make It Awards to support small businesses.
After serving a six-month prison sentence, East Village local Michael Cole returned to his neighborhood and, shortly after, started selling ice cream. In 2013, Cole opened his own shop, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, which trains at-risk youth, then hires them to work in the store.
“This business is a second chance not only for myself but for others,” Cole told PIX11 News. “You can have a different past, but as long as you are focusing on a better tomorrow, this is a vehicle that can help you get to where you want to go,” he added.
The ice cream shop has made headlines before for its unique flavor names inspired by pop culture and music. Cole has created custom flavors for Hillary Clinton and Jay-Z.
Mikey Likes It currently has two locations, at 199 Avenue A, between 12th and 13th Sts., in the East Village and at 2500 Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem.