Small Business Owner Thanks Government, Gains Fame

The co-owners of an organic ice cream shop in Santa Cruz, California were a long way from the store on Tuesday night: they were sitting with First Lady MIchelle Obama at the State of the Union address. And it’s all thanks to YouTube and to expressing thanks.

Zach Davis and Kendra Baker needed a loan to start their ice cream business, but no bank would help them. They finally got a $250,000 loan guarantee from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, and Penny Ice Creamery opened its doors in August 2010. Zach decided to thank the Feds by posting a video about the effect of the loan guarantee: a new business born, local farmers supported, staff hired. The video went viral, and attracted the attention of, and a call from, Vice President Biden:

The Penny Ice Creamery is doing roaring business, and was even featured recently in The New York Times’ travel section. All offerings are organic and use products from local farms. Their flavors change depending on what’s in season, with favorites like Olive Oil and Sweet Lime Juniper dueling with exotic aromas like Banana Toffee and Dark Chocolate Sorbet. Full disclosure: Zach and I went through the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California, starting in 2006. In our inaugural class, Critical Thinking for Business Redesign, we discussed the value of mindfulness, gratitude and right livelihood in business, as in life. For Zach, saying “thank you” has really paid off.

still from Penny Ice Creamery video


Chantelle L.
Chantelle L7 years ago


Doug D.
Douglas D7 years ago

Awesome! This is what tax dollars should be used for! Not wars!

Ant m.
Ant m7 years ago


Pamela T.
Pamela T7 years ago

Bonus: the community benefits from really fantastic ice cream, the Rum Raisin I had from Penny Ice Creamery at Christmas in particular was sooooo good.

Tell me today's flavors don't tempt you: Fresh Mint Chip, Chocolate Haystack, Earl of Grey, Lime Juniper, Burnt Cinnamon, Brown Sugar Oat Walnut, Orange Star Anise, Vanilla Bean, and Dark Chocolate Sorbet.

It is organic milk, but not raw. You can't buy raw milk legally, and you certainly can't serve it to customers. That's be a swift way to lose a business license and have no way to pay back a loan.

Red Velvet Rose
Red Velvet Rose7 years ago

Great success story.

Patricia S.
Pat S7 years ago

Tom Edgar,
How right you are!!!

Tom Edgar
Tom Edgar7 years ago

Laurie I hesitate to teach an American about his own country.
The American Federal Reserve Bank is Government? Check your facts, I believe you will find it is run by a private consortium of,primarily, Jewish Bankers. not even answerable to the President.

Adolf Hitler once said words to the effect of . "A Government that does not control its own finances, cannot govern its own country." Do I need to add more to explain the dilemma in which the U S A's financial position is placed.?

Lynn C.
Past Member 7 years ago

I wish them well in their new venture.

Laurie S.
Laurie S7 years ago

continued from previous...

And they invest in us (State level infrastructure funded by federal tax dollars, educational assistance throguh student loans, etc.)

And so it goes!


Laurie S.
Laurie S7 years ago

Hey Steve R!

You said, "The government is not a bank." Of course it is; the part that operates as a bank is known as the Federal Reserve.

Do you think that if you take a check from your boss whose business checking account is drawn on Wells Fargo and cash it at US Bank that US bank contacts Wells Fargo directly to get that money? No way! US Bank submits that check to the Fed and the Fed pays it, then the Fed turns to Wells Fargo and gets the money from them.

That's right! I bet you were wondering why banks don't process transactions on Saturday and Sunday even if they are open and thought they were delaying you for the nuisance value, huh? No, its because the Fed is closed on the weekends, and the banks can't do business without that 'Fed in the middle' interaction. How after all would the Fed 'regulate' commerce and banking if it had no control of the transactions themselves? Magic?

And who prints the money? Makes the rules about how financial companies run and what they can and cannot do, and what factors the banks have to consider before they grant or deny a loan?

Need I say it or can you spell it?

And what is a Treasury bond but a government backed guaranteed investment? With a variable terms and a guaranteed minimum payout no less. OOOOHhhhh YEEEAAAH! The Government is an investment broker too! Gee, sure sounds like banking to me (oh, rake up the gold, clink, clink!)

And so it goes; We invest in them (bonds, strength of the Dollar, consumer confide