Suzanne Battle '92
Title: Owner & CEO
Organization: Azucar Ice Cream
"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." I would like to think that the concept and invention of Azucar Ice Cream Company came from my passion for ice cream and my grandmother's ability to create great flavors. In realty, it came from having to reinvent my career and soul searching about what really determines a life well lived.
I worked in the banking industry for over 20 years. I started a family, had my children and lived a pretty peaceful life. I loved spending time with my family and friends. Life was easy. I divorced and battled thyroid cancer. This lead me to really evaluate my life.
When the banking industry had major layoffs I found myself as a single parent without a job. To say that I was scared was an understatement. I started thinking about my family.
We had never been in the restaurant business or known anything about food service. I thought how great it would be to have a "family business". I could incorporate the things in my life that were the most important, my family and friends.
Azucar Ice Cream Company was born in my kitchen talking to my best friend, my Goddaughter and my children. My grandmother made ice cream when we were young and invented flavors out of exotic fruits from different countries. Wouldn't she smile from the heavens?
It took 18 months to put the company and store together. It was quite difficult to start a business such as this one. I had to learn everything from scratch.
I learned and pursued classes at Penn State's world renowned school for ice cream. I also attended the Frozen Dessert Institute in St. Louis.
Azucar opened its doors in July 2011 and it has been a blessing ever since. We have had press from The Miami Herald to The Wall Street Journal and are thrilled to say that we were in issues of Cooking Light magazine and last month’s Bon Appetit’ where Azucar was featured as the #1 place to go to in Miami! The BBC Worldwide did a special on us that elevated Azucar to new heights. We have been interviewed by CNBC and CNN and were viewed by 25 different countries!
My vision for Azucar is to take the concept nationally. We will open our second store in Dallas in April.
I have been blessed to ride this wave with my family and friends who are always around to lend a hand. It has brought our family closer and brought our friends to Little Havana. Every day is still a challenge, but a very exciting one indeed!