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Hidden Gems: Meet Susan Soorenko of Moorenko’s Ice Cream

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Soorenko.

Susan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I opened my first ice cream shop in McLean, Virginia, in 2002 after my children decided making ice cream professionally would be a good idea. We opened our Silver Spring shop in 2005. Because we could make special flavors, we became very popular with Virginia/Maryland/DC restaurants, who would come to us for signature ice creams. We also became popular with local markets because we’re locally made, woman owned, and natural.

In 2009, we moved the entire Moorenko’s Ice Cream operation to a much larger Silver Spring, Maryland facility. And we currently have three locations – South Silver Spring, Eastern Market, DC, and Westfields Montgomery Mall in Rockville, MD.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has been anything but a smooth road! The recession in 2007-2009 had a profoundly negative impact on the company, and we had to start over to recover. Working with large distribution companies that supply to big market chains was an interesting learning experience but proved to not be profitable in the end. Of course, the pandemic created another very difficult situation. Most of our customers are restaurants, hotels, and clubs, which were closed for many months during the pandemic, so we’ve had to start all over again!

We’ve been impressed with Moorenko’s Ice Cream, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Moorenko’s Ice Cream is a woman-owned, artisanal ice cream company that I started in 2002. I wanted to create ice cream that my children would enjoy and a place for them to come with their friends after school. I studied ice cream making in New York, Italy, and France. Our ice cream is made from a proprietary, ultra-premium dairy, egg yolk blend, and we use the finest flavoring ingredients. Our flavors range from the traditional to the imaginative, and after 20 years in the business, I still get a thrill watching someone taste our products for the first time and roll their eyes with pleasure! Our shops offer the finest ice creams and sorbets, and this summer, we’ll be launching plant-based “ice creams.”

 

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.moorenkos.com
  • Instagram: moorenko
  • Facebook: moorenkosicecream
  • Twitter: @moorenkos

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