Dream Cream Ice Cream is building its business on the idea of helping others achieve their dreams — but it started as a dream itself. Alecia Shipman, who works in education at the August Wilson Center, and Thomas Jamison, a former banker, were inspired by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's Pop-Up Pittsburgh project, which gives creative businesses rent-free Downtown storefronts for six months or a year. The two decided to combine their love of frozen treats with their commitment to helping others.
Each month, eight "dreamers" are chosen, and each chooses an ice-cream flavor. A quarter of the proceeds from the sale of the assigned flavor goes toward dreamers achieving their goals.
Current dreamers include Janet Stewart (flavor: Muddy Sneakers), a nurse who is funding a trip to work at a Rwanda hospital, and Andrew Williams (Cookies and Cream), who hopes to start a graphic T-shirt company. Each dreamer volunteers time at the shop, minimizing overhead costs. Potential dreamers can apply via the shop's website.
"We pick folks who might be close to their dream but not quite there," Jamison explains. "We're not going to buy somebody a Benz, but if your dream is to have a set of wheels to get you to work every day, and you're saving up and need a little more for a used car — that's the kind of dream we fund." You can help out, too — and get a cone.