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For this month’s Movers & Makers, Neighborhood Notes connected with one of Portland’s cool treat entrepreneurs, Kevin Bell, founder of Oregon Ice Works. We talked business and left room for dessert.
NN: What was the inspiration for Oregon Ice Works?
KB: Growing up in Philadelphia, “water ice” is a summer staple. Some people call it Italian ice. I always loved the stuff—it’s sweet and refreshing. I saw the bounty of fruits from the Pacific Northwest and thought the product would fit in here.
Our product is made with real fruit and is naturally vegan and gluten free, so it is something anyone can enjoy. We launched in April 2010. We are going into our third summer and couldn’t be happier about it.
NN: Access to capital is a common challenge for startup businesses. How did you finance the launch of Oregon Ice Works?
KB: Family helped me the most. I didn’t want to go for the bank loan, so I used my personal finances with help from family. I think this seems to be the way most people start out.
NN: Did you have any background experience that prepared you for starting a food business? (Read full article)
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