Nothing says hot summer day like going to the ice cream parlour and devouring a decadent ice cream sundae or popsicle. There are plenty of choices in ice cream, but Jane McGinn’s mission was unique: to offer a healthy, divine product that was gluten-free, dairy-free and hormone-free. This was the motivation behind her version of the famous fudgsickle.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
It all starts with ice-cream. We lived in the country surrounded by cow pastures. We were 5 kids and a freezer, which also served as a bomb shelter. It was a mysterious room filled with frozen food. My mom would make everything from scratch, but ice cream was a special treat we bought on Sundays. I would sit on the swing overlooking a brook and enjoy an ice cream sandwich.
Who were your role models as a child?
I come from a family of cooks, but cooking was always a way to make ends meet. My great grandmother cooked for the Katharine Hepburn’s family. My mom and dad were very practical people.They taught me the art of resourcefulness.
What was the best investment your parents made in you?
Time. The center of our family was time. My dad walked away from jobs because he wanted to spend time with us.
Did you know what you would become as a child?
I wanted to become an actor/performer and studied with Sanford Meisner. I even moved to LA. It just wasn’t in the cards for me.
How did you transition to being an entrepreneur?
I was in the real estate industry in New York City and I was always struck by the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants. I wanted to be the master of my own ship.
What is the inspiration behind Sweet Janes?
I never lost my love for ice cream or the Earth or people. One day I was at the bowling alley and I ordered a popular brand of ice cream and the chocolate crumbled. It felt dirty. I set out to make the best fudgesicle in the world. I joined Webow and they helped me define a business plan that led me to Malcolm Stogo’s Ice Cream University in West Orange, NJ. He taught me how to make dairy-free ice-cream.
What is your advice for young entrepreneurs?
Don’t let anyone tell that you are too young or too old to do something. I met a 12-year old who had a clothing line that she could take to market. She had incredible drawings. Don’t overthink what you’re going to do. Just show up and make your best product. Every day I tell myself, I’m going to be the best Jane and I’m going to make the best fudgsickle.
What is the best part of your job?
Watching the look on a customer’s face when they try my product. I know it’s a good product, but I feel great when I can see the smile and joy that fills them.
What’s next for Sweet Janes?
I want to make Sweet Janes a household name.