Sunday, August 7, 2011

Illinois Dairy License set to destroy more small business

Kris Swanberg the founder and owner of Nice Cream, a boutique ice cream maker in Chicago, IL learned last week how hard it is to be a small business in Illinois. The Department of Public Health informed her she would have to shut down if she didn't obtain a " Dairy License." What does this mean for her business? In order to continue under the new rules she would need to adhere to the following.

  • "Obtain her own work space. Currently they work out of the Logan Square Kitchen."
  • "Have product tested once a month for bacterial levels."
  • "Change all of the packaging and labels to meet state standards."
  • "Purchase a  $40,000 pasteurizer" 
The IDPH officer who visited told her that her ice cream probably wouldn’t pass the bacteria tests if she continued to use fresh strawberries. Instead the officer suggested she use "strawberry syrup",  Swanberg told a Chicago Tribune interviewer.  The following is taken right from the Nice Cream website.

"Nice Cream is a seasonal ice cream handcrafted right here in Chicago, IL.  We use fresh & organic ingredients from local farms that treat their animals with love and respect."

Using Strawberry syrup and ice cream mix would completely change her product and her business model.  What's worse is that the these regulations are on the same level as those enforced on large ice cream makers.  No small operator can afford to compete on this level, nor do they want to.  That's the idea of natural and organic producers.  They cater to a group of people who go out of their way to buy products that are not processed and pasteurized.  

Unless legislative changes are made Nice Cream will soon no longer be available for purchase and yet one more small business will be put to rest.  What's worse is that boutique organic ice cream is an industry in Chicago.  This change threatens not only Nice Cream but all of the providers who produce handcrafted ice cream.  This also begs to ask the question, why has only Nice Cream been targeted so far by the IDPH?   Is this the kind of  action that we look for from our State Government?

If you live in Illinois and agree that this type of action is ridiculous please let your State Representatives know how you feel.   



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1 comment:

  1. The local departments of public health have completely run amok in Illinois. They are virtually unassailable and are resistant to logic and social pressure.

    Indeed one purpose of regulation particularly in Illinois is to keep new entrants out of business.