Small Business Highlight: Groovy Italian Ice
It’s Memphis, it’s hot, and you want something cold to cool you off when you’re hanging out at Shelby Farms Park. Groovy Italian Ice is the perfect solution to this hot summer weather. Troy Davis started his Italian ice truck in 2020 after he took the profits from his lawn maintenance service that he has owned since he was ten years old and hit the ground running, as he likes to say. “As a young kid, I didn’t have to be a victim of my circumstances, and I could change my life by working hard. So that’s exactly what I did!” Even though Groovy Italian has only been open for two short years, they have seen great success and have even been on Bluff City Life with Gina Neely. I asked Troy what that experience was like for him. “I was a little nervous because I’d never spoken on a platform of that magnitude, but overall, the experience felt surreal. I’m glad I had the opportunity to present my business to the city and hopefully gain more support from the locals.” He was also interviewed on Up Next TV, a smaller news outlet that covers hip hop and breaking news. The day of the interview, he was hosting a giveaway of backpacks and school supplies in honor of the back to school season. He loves his community and does anything he can to give back to the city that supports him and his business.
If you don’t know what Italian ice is, it's a frozen treat that is similar to sorbet or a snow cone because it doesn’t contain dairy or eggs. I asked Troy about all the flavors he serves on his truck. He told me they are adding new flavors all the time, but the flavors that are popular with his customers now are blueberry, rainbow, cotton candy, cherry, and strawberry lemonade. Other than Italian ice, Groovy Italian Ice sells food, like nachos and hot dogs, and homemade cookies that Troy bakes himself. But he told me, “This season we were trying to get our Italian ice game down pat, but next year you can expect us to expand into sweet, warm treats.” You can check Groovy Italian Ice’s Instagram page to keep up to date on when new items are released.
Owning a business can come with many surprises and Groovy Italian Ice is no different. I asked Troy what he found most surprising with owning his business. “Honestly, the initial opportunities and support that I received from both the locals and other businesses. As a new business owner, it is scary starting something fresh and not knowing if it will be a hit or a miss. I really couldn’t have done this without the support of Memphians.” On the flip side, I asked him what has been a challenge that he has faced with his business. He said, “I am still learning what works for my business and some things I can improve on. I am constantly evaluating everything and making plans for next season on what I will change or add to provide the best product and service to customers.” Just because a business can come with uncertainties, doesn't always mean that's a bad thing. Troy knows that he will have to deal with them, but he tries to stay as prepared as possible.
Groovy Italian Ice has done a lot of events including Beale Street Music Fest and Yo Gotti’s Birthday Bash, so I asked Troy what his favorite event has been since he started Groovy. He said, “I will have to say that my first event with Pettigrew Adventures and Morgan will always have a special place in Groovy Italian’s heart. They were the first to provide me with an opportunity to showcase my business and share a great experience with fellow entrepreneurs and influencers. It's always great to be a part of something that celebrates young people and their strives for success.” Similarly, when I asked him about what he sees in the future, he talked about helping entrepreneurs in the future with the experience he has gained from owning Groovy Italian, especially those entering the food industry. He also talked about expanding in other ways as well. “I want to share this local business with other cities and expand my services. I am hopeful that this business will continue to grow soon.” With all the great media attention that Groovy has gotten recently, we have no doubts that they will expand rapidly and successfully.
The last question that I asked Troy was what he loves about being a small business in Memphis. He said “Memphis people know how to show up and show out! We’re our own biggest supporters! The support is seen and felt every time they show up to the Beale Street Music Festival, Yo Gotti Birthday Bash, Memphis Tiger game, or any time you hear the crowd chanting ‘Whoop that Trick’ at the Grizzlies basketball game. I love my city, which is why I do what I do!” We love that Memphis embraces the small business that makes it great! If you would like to find Groovy Italian Ice, you can find them at their usual locations: The Citizens Apartments Midtown, Shelby Farms, or Overton Park. But always make sure to check their Instagram to stay updated on where they will be on any given week. Or if you would like to book them for an event, you can DM Troy there as well.
Thank you to Troy Davis for allowing us to talk about his business. Again, here is Groovy’s Instagram: @groovy_italianicellc. If you are a Memphis small business and you would like to be highlighted on our blog, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you would like to follow us on social media, here are all of the links: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.