As Charleston rolls into another hot summer, the couple behind Wich Cream ice cream announced on Instagram last week that they’re ready to pass the business on to another person or group eager to work with the freshest ingredients the Lowcountry has to offer.
It was never really about ice cream for Brandon and Lauren Belk. They started their sweet treats biz five years ago with the goal of highlighting local producers focusing on sustainability. Ice cream provided the blank canvas for the couple to explore all sorts of fun flavor combinations like strawberry lavender and fruity pebbles. Now, the Belks have decided it’s time for a new adventure in most likely a different city.
Brandon, who has handled the operations side of the business, explains that they are in a transition period where they “still have obligations to Wich Cream but are also trying to set intentions for the future.” The first order of business is finding a new owner looking for a chance to scale a proven concept that Brandon says has plateaued. He explains that the next stage is expanding the scope, but he and Lauren have realized that they are more interested in the creative side of the business.
“We pictured ourselves in the future with a big successful company and just discovered that we wanted that less than we did when we started out,” says Brandon. The couple doesn’t feel a calling to move further with the concept, but they never have and still don’t see a ceiling for the brand. “I believe in the mission and think it has the majority of the way to go.”
So what’s next? The couple has interest from multiple parties and aren’t limiting their search to people with culinary backgrounds. They are after someone with experience in getting the product into larger markets, as Brandon explains that he expects a shift from farmers market food to more wholesale and catering. The best part about this? Bringing Wich Cream to the bigger stage still helps the local businesses down the chain by raising awareness for their mission-driven products. Brandon says that they haven’t been able to give the home delivery aspect of the business the attention it needs, but sees that also being a positive idea moving forward.
Lauren is wrapping up a degree and plans to get into the mental health field, and the couple has a new concept, too, that they aren’t yet ready to make public. Their oldest child is nine years old, and they think that this might be a good time for them to spread their wings outside of Charleston. For now, you can still have one of their tasty treats delivered to you at the drop of a hat.