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Los Angeles Based Black-Owned Ice Cream Shop Struggles to Stay Open

By Travel Noire

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Written by: Danielle Dorsey

Did you know that Los Angeles has a Black-owned vegan and gluten-free ice cream shop sandwiched right in the heart of downtown? Neither did I, so you can imagine my dismay when I found out that Divine Dips is in danger of going out of business just before the summer heat wave hits.

The dessert parlor is owned by Diane Jacobs, a self-described Jill-of-all-trades, who wanted to offer her community an all-natural, organic option for satisfying their sweet tooth. Prior to creating Divine Dips, Jacobs ran a custom cake shop for twelve years and has dabbled in architectural design, filmmaking, and photography. After several years of selling her frozen treats at various retail locations around LA, Jacobs took the leap and opened her brick-and-mortar shop in 2018.

In a time when many consumers are in constant paranoia over hidden ingredients, Jacobs eases that worry by being refreshingly transparent about the ingredients used in her creamy confections. Divine Dips offers more than 15 flavors ranging from matcha green tea to black sesame ginger, all of them vegan and gluten-free. Although technically not raw, Jacobs’ ice creams are created without the use of heat and with agave-nectar used as a sweetener, making them more accessible for diabetics. Since opening, Jacobs has expanded her menu to include non-dairy “Mylkshakes,” ChurroNuts (a churro/donut hybrid), cookies, brownies, apple pie squares, mini cheesecakes, and an assortment of beverages.

Like many Black business owners, Jacobs began her shop with little to no capital and has worked tirelessly to keep it open, hoping that an investor would see her shop’s potential. She’s been approached by Whole Foods and other local restaurants who want to add her desserts to their menus but lacked the financial support to move forward with these opportunities. Catering to LA’s growing vegan and gluten-free populations has earned Jacobs’ amazing reviews on Google and Yelp, but after a year of reaching into her own pockets to support business costs, Divine Dips is being threatened with eviction and Jacobs’ home is in danger of foreclosure.

Thankfully, a Divine Dips superfan has taken it upon themselves to set up a fundraiser for the business. The GoFundMe raised an impressive $3,000 in just 15 days but is still a long-shot from meeting its goal of $127,525. Click here to donate.

The fundraiser does not have an end date nor does it specify when Divine Dips will be closing if they don’t meet their goal. According to Yelp and Google, the shop is open and keeping regular business hours, so there’s still time to beat the heat with Jacobs’ almost-guilt-free treats.

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