Amy Green pulled a few hefty boxes out of her storage room in the basement of The Creamery Building and carried them out to the front of her shop. Inside the boxes were guestbooks with 15 years worth of customer comments, drawings and Ivanna Cone love notes.
To Amy, this is the feedback that matters most.
Sure, she’s the brainpower behind Lincoln’s most popular local ice cream shop, but she’d rather stay behind the scenes. She was a little skittish to talk about any specific, personal details, because to Amy Ivanna Cone isn’t about her, it’s about family.
It’s Amy, her team and the customers. These people make the shop tick, whether they’ve been in once or hundreds of times since it opened 18 years ago.
Back then the Haymarket’s dominant landmarks were Lazlo’s, The Burkholder Project and The Oven – and parking was a whole lot easier, she said.
Amy is all about family, because that’s how Ivanna Cone started. Her parents helped her buy the shop and she quickly found herself in the role of full-time mom and business woman.
But from the get go Amy was all in.
She had two young kids – Grace and Tom – and a brain full of ice cream recipes, so the ice cream had to sell itself, she said.
On the weekends her parents would drive down from Fremont to watch the kids or pass out $1 scoops at the farmers market.
During the week Amy worked with the kids at her feet. She made the shop kid-friendly by creating a toy corner and installing a johnny jump up in the kitchen.
Amy has made batch upon batch of oddball flavor combinations and she estimated about 10-12 thousand batches of the all-time fan favorite Dutch Chocolate.
A little obsessive, right?
But that’s the thing about owning a business, you can’t turn it off.
Amy said she’s had to teach herself to let others help out and to schedule time to relax outside of the shop. These days her nearly grown kids man the counter on a pretty frequent basis, and Grace said she hopes to someday run the shop when her mom is ready to throw in the towel.
But that won’t be anytime soon, Amy quickly interjected. She pointed to her arm to show off the 18 scoops of ice cream that snake their way up and around her arm – one for every year the shop is open – and there’s still more space, she said.
Here’s the deal: Ivanna Cone is Ivanna Cone because Amy Green is Amy Green.
From the on-purpose whimsical flavors to the layout and design of the shop, it’s all Amy.
She’s a woman who loves challenges and writing paychecks, but hates paperwork. She loves throwing money at bizarre ice cream ideas, and will never franchise her shop or lose her dark sense of humor.
And while Amy is a little shy about standing in the spotlight, her much beloved ice cream shop is beloved because of her, and that’s the real story.