Launching a New Creative Food Business Amidst the Pandemic


When the pandemic hit, some entrepreneurs had to face hard decisions on how to stay afloat, pivot, or shut things down. When I interviewed Gaby Isman, she was one of the entrepreneurs that chose to pivot when her current business was coming to a halt. During the first few months of the pandemic, Gaby decided to pivot away from her work as an interior architect and leap into a completely different business that celebrates something we all love: ice cream. Within weeks, Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream was born. In this interview we share some valuable lessons learned on pivoting in business and launching a product-based company. Here are some highlights from our conversation. You can click play on the video to hear the whole conversation!

Kareen Walsh (KW): How did you get to the point of deciding to launch your new business?

Gaby Isman (GI): It wasn’t so well planned! Last year, I opened a business in interior design. Less than a month later, it was lockdown. I had so much time at home, so I started making ice cream. I decided to explore combinations between different flavors and alcohol, sharing with my friends and family for feedback. I found that people were amazed by it. That’s when I started thinking, “I’m getting such good feedback, maybe I can turn this into a business.”

KW: What are your favorite flavors?

GI: I have three! Espresso Martini – coffee ice cream with Kahlua vodka. Hazelnut Cream – Bailey’s ice Cream with hazelnut. Paloma – grapefruit ice cream with tequila.

KW: I love that you’re also a client of your own product. So many people miss that step. A disconnect can happen when you create a business and put your products out there – if you don’t engage with the product yourself, it will be very hard to build the business properly for your clients.

GI: I think you have to be in love with your own product in order to succeed. Otherwise, it’s very difficult.

KW: What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since launching this new business?

GI: That I can do whatever I want. You have to be committed; you have to know you will have challenges along the way. But, if you have a goal and decide to go after it, you can do it. Anyone can do anything if they are committed and love something. Don’t be afraid, just do it.

KW: Yes! Sometimes it takes these big moves for us to step into that power in ourselves. I always talk about aligned action. When you give yourself the time to connect to something you are passionate about, it can show up in this world so much faster because you’re actually connected to it. There’s this discovery that happens when you allow yourself to be emotional about the work you’re doing.

GI: This pandemic, with all the horrible things it had, also gave time to many people for introspection, and to explore things they wouldn’t have thought otherwise.

KW: When you’re sitting in survival mode for too long, you’re actually dulling down your gifting. It’s beautiful that you were able to create that space for yourself and produce a brand-new business. That is possible when you take the time to assess and decide, “well, what do I want to do next? I can’t do the things that I love and have mastered right now. Let’s explore something new.” This is a great reminder. You don’t need a pandemic to make you stop, assess, and guide what’s next. 

GI: I’m very happy. It’s exciting, I’m having fun!

KW: That’s how it should be! What are you focused on now for your business? What are some things you’re hoping to see happen?

GI: I want to reach a bigger audience. The ice cream I’m creating provides people with moments of joy. It makes people want to gather to try it. If I can have more people come together, have fun, laugh, while enjoying this ice cream, that would be a great accomplishment for me.

I hope you see from this interview that if you have a creative idea and start taking steps to put it out into the world, that you can find your market and serve your community in a very special way. Entrepreneurship is not a one size fits all. If you have something you have been wanting to get out into the world, go for it!

The best way to support Gaby is to try her ice cream and give her your feedback. As she said in the interview, she is always learning, adjusting, and doing her best to serve her clients well.

By the way, I have been fortunate enough to try Gaby's ice cream and am in love with the unique flavors...and the light buzz doesn't hurt either! (Must be 21 or older to order it.)

Check out the video for the full interview!

Get in touch with Gaby, and if you are in NY you have to try her ice cream!! And don't hesitate to message her your favorite beverage and ice cream flavors to see if she has a combination that is perfect for you!


Instagram: @alchimista_icecream


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