Antonio McBroom, a veteran business owner from North Carolina, has transformed his love for ice cream into a remarkable success story. He started out as a scooper at a local ice cream store, but now he owns 15 Ben & Jerry’s stores in multiple cities. This makes him the company’s first CEO of a Black-owned and Black-led multi-unit franchise group.
Antonio’s journey with Ben & Jerry’s started during his college days when he worked as a regular employee. Fast forward to just days before his graduation, Antonio took a bold step and bought his very first Ben & Jerry’s store in Chapel Hill, NC which quickly became a hit.
Since then, he has expanded to 15 locations across Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Washington D.C., and Florida.
“I’m an ice cream connoisseur,” he told Spectrum Local News. “That’s what drew me to the job in the first place. I started as a scooper back when I was in college at UNC, and I had a milkshake as my first menu item, and that was one of the perks of working on the job. So, I’ve been sticking with it ever since.”
But Antonio’s journey doesn’t stop at ice cream. He’s also the owner of a Starbucks franchise in the southeast. Being an entrepreneur was always his dream, and working with Ben & Jerry’s provided him with a platform to grow that dream.
Antonio takes immense pride in giving back to the community, just as he once received support. He leads a dedicated team that allocates a portion of the profits from all 15 Ben & Jerry’s locations to support upcoming and small Black-owned businesses.
“Small businesses have a heartbeat for the community, and we’re plugged in a way that a lot of large corporations can’t,” he said. “I’ve always been an advocate for small businesses and really enjoy being a small business owner.”
“One of the responsibilities of being a Black entrepreneur is just showing others what’s possible. I know that a lot of folks growing up don’t see cases of Black excellence, and so for me to be a model, an example for folks in my community of just what’s possible,” he added.
Be sure to follow him and his business adventures on Instagram @AntonioMcBroom_