An interview with young entrepreneur Carly Dudley of El Creamino.
Describe your business.
El Creamino is a handcrafted, local ice pop company. All of our ice pops have fresh, organic ingredients in delicious and uncommon combinations, as well as boozy pops for private events and catering. Eventually we’re looking at purchasing a 59′ El Camino and serving ice pops out of the back. But for now, we’re just doing pop-ups at festivals and events throughout the region, getting our product into people’s mouths (and hearts).
What brought you to the region?
My husband, Tom, grew up in Belleville and still has family in the area. We decided to move from our home in Cochrane, AB (between Banff and Calgary) and raise our kids here.
What makes the Bay of Quinte a good fit for your business?
One of the reasons we love the BoQ is for its amazing local farms! Since our business hinges on fresh produce, we love that we have access to so many incredible producers to work with. We also love the abundance of festivals and events where we can sell our ice pops every weekend in the summer and fall.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
Balancing being a full-time parent to our young children and an entrepreneur has been the hardest thing, hands down, about starting a business. A lot of late nights spent testing recipes, doing accounting and answering emails, but it’s all worth it when you’re doing something you’re passionate about.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Don’t be afraid to go for a drink. Almost all of our important business connections have been forged over a simple cup of coffee or a beer and conversation with anyone and everyone in the Bay of Quinte area.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
Probably how people in the community all wear multiple hats: either sitting on committees, volunteering with organizations, or just plain knowing who’s who. It’s great to see people involved in what’s going on in the community.
Describe your perfect day off.
Enjoying a bike ride with our kids along the bay, playing at Zwick’s Park, going for coffee at The Brake Room, and maybe a late afternoon picnic lunch by the fountain in the Corby Rose Garden.
What’s your secret to surviving winter?
Obviously we aren’t selling too many ice pops in the winter, so it gives us time to just chill, pun intended. We’re also really passionate about the outdoors, so we still bundle the kids up and head out to parks and playgrounds, regardless of weather. I’d really like to get my kids onto some cross-county skis this winter.
If you were to have one phrase tattooed on you, what would it be?
Too blessed to be stressed.