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Boys and Girls Club to open ice cream shop in downtown Rochester

Boys and Girls Club to open ice cream shop in downtown Rochester

A new ice cream parlor is opening in downtown Rochester — and like any good soft serve cone, there's a twist.

We got the inside scoop today, and learned that the shop will actually be run by the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester. It will operate as a form of social entrepreneurship, meaning the revenue generated from ice cream sales will help support the nonprofit's mission of serving area youth.

Pretty cool idea, right?

The shop is going to be located in the Paine Furniture building on South Broadway, next to Café Steam. In addition to ice cream, the Club will sell sweets, gift baskets and other items. There may also be opportunities for activities like bingo and trivia.

"We want it to be more than an ice cream or sweets shop," Jodi Millerbernd, the organization's executive director, told me in an interview Tuesday. "We want it to be a destination."

Oh, and it gets better. The cherry on top?

While the shop will be managed by adults, it will primarily be youth staffing the location. Millerbernd said she wants to get teens involved in the operations of the business so they leave with a skill set that prepares them for the workforce.

It's such an innovative model — generating revenue for the Club while giving kids their first job — ice screamed with enthusiasm when I first heard about it. 

But for now, we all just need to chill out. The shop won't open for another few months.

Follow Sean on Twitter (no more puns, he promises).

Cover photo: Licensed / Canva

Don't be fooled by these stickers. They are white nationalist propaganda.

Don't be fooled by these stickers. They are white nationalist propaganda.

Crisis hotline will continue to be available for SE Minnesota residents

Crisis hotline will continue to be available for SE Minnesota residents