LOS ANGELES — Scoops of artisan ice cream and a slice of hip-hop history are on the menu at All Chill in Leimert Park.
What You Need To Know
- Metro recently marked one year since their K line extension project was completed and opened to the public on Oct. 7, 2022
- The K Line is a 5.9-mile light rail line running north-south between the Jefferson Park and Westchester neighborhoods of Los Angeles, passing through Leimert Park and the city of Inglewood
- Small business owners in Leimert Park say the new station has helped increase foot traffic into their store
- According to experts at publictransportation.org, every $1 that’s invested into public transportation generates $4 in economic returns for the city
Owners Genelle Brooks-Petty and her husband, Julian Petty, took what they love and turned it into their community’s first Black-owned ice cream business.
“Ice cream is something that is nostalgic. It is a connector, in the sense that you like it old, you like it young,” said Brooks-Petty.
Some of her first-time customers find her shop via Metro’s K line, a new light rail that opened last October. The new extension of Metro’s system is not just helping draw in new customers, but Genelle says her employees rely on the train as well.
“We have employees who take the train to work, which makes it really easy. We’re two doors down from the Leimert Park station of the K line. We have folks who come in, and I generally talk to the guests and ask how they heard about us, and folks will say… saw your shop walking by,” she said.
Genelle says she really felt the impact of the new light rail over the Juneteenth holiday when her neighborhood attracted tens of thousands of visitors, many stopping into her shop for the first time.
According to experts, every dollar communities invest in public transportation generates four dollars in economic returns.
Billy Chun is the COO of PACE, the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment, which helps businesses in Los Angeles grow.
He says while there are some challenges to running a store near transit lines — such as higher rent rates and property taxes — there are economic advantages, especially for the K line, which does go above ground for some stretches.
“You know not to pick sides, but there is a benefit to having that train at grade, where you can see that community, Crenshaw Blvd., everything that’s going on, and those businesses… you have more eyeballs on your storefront,” said Chun.
For business owners like Genelle, more eyeballs on her store means more opportunity to grow in a neighborhood in which her family has deep roots.
“Seeing an opportunity to be a part of the shifts that are happening in development in Leimert Park specifically… and kind of having a sense of all the changes that are happening, we decided to double down on our community involvement through business.”
A sweet decision that Genelle says landed them in the right place, at the right time.