Ellie Southworth began her journey at Genuine Ice Cream in 2017 as the production manager. In 2020, she bought the business. Today, the handmade products are available through a retail storefront as well as for catered events, and wholesale products are found in specialty food stores and restaurants throughout Montana.
Having outgrown the 800-square-foot production space, Southworth secured a new location with over 1,700 square feet that will allow Genuine Ice Cream to expand its wholesale production.
Southworth’s introduction to Prospera included the organization’s signature courses: Power Up, Link Up, and Managing with a Coach Approach. This connection led Southworth to no-cost business counseling with Suzi Berget White and Sam Blomquist, who introduced her to the Growth Through Agriculture and the Montana Women’s Business Center grants. The funds from both grants will help buy equipment for the new facility and build out the space.
“They helped me through the grant application processes. Sam was able to speak to what the grant was trying to accomplish and what projects it’s looking to fund,” said Southworth. “The people at Prospera are experts, and they want to see you succeed. I can’t imagine having completed the application without Prospera as a resource.”
As Genuine Ice Cream moves into its new production facility, Southworth looks to the future with increased production and a new flagship retail store in Bozeman.