Posts tagged ‘small business’

November 23, 2011

Feast on this!


This holiday season snuck up on us pretty quickly, but we were ready with one of our favorite fall flavors. Pumpkin pie PhroZen hit freezers in October, and we’ve been stocking and restocking it since. The feedback has been great, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support.

So, what better way to say thank you for supporting our local small business, than by supporting another small business?? We were lucky enough to come into contact with a small farmer in the area, who happened to have grown “fairytale” pumpkins this year. That got the wheels turning, and led to the limited batch of pumpkin pie flavor PhroZen that’s out now. We processed those pumpkins into our ice cream, and couldn’t be happier with the result. Working with local businesses is pretty sweet.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year – you’ve given us even more reasons to be thankful this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Love.

March 9, 2011

Introducing our Feature Flavor for March!

Well, I don’t know how we got here so quickly, but March is upon us – and so is this month’s Feature Flavor! For those of you who don’t know what that is, we choose a local business to work with every month in order to promote local living, and create a flavor based around one of their products.

This month, Jess Prussia, owner of Last Bites Bakery, helped us to create “Last Bites Peanut Butter Bliss,” which consists of a “buttercream” ice cream base, a peanut butter and chocolate frosting swirl, and pieces of Last Bites chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. Essentially it’s a whole lot of delicious all in one bite, and you can find it at Meals-To-Go now, with a delivery coming to Park+Vine this week (watch for tweets and Facebook posts).

March's Feature Flavor Match-up

In honor of the collaboration, I asked Jess a few questions about her busines – and what better way is there to celebrate International Women’s Day then to learn a little more about one awesome woman?! Read our interview below:

So let’s start with the basics. Introduce yourself – what’s your business?
Jess: I’m Jess Prussia (that’s obvious). I’m the lucky mom of 2 awesome little boys (Max and Eli–my #1 taste testers), a Sunday School Coordinator, freelance writer/ graphic designer, Interior Designer on occasion, baker, and a Graphic Design student. I started and run Last Bites Bakery. The bakery is part of the “cottage foods” industry, which basically means I currently work out of my home in College Hill but sell my baked goods at retailers around town.

Where can we find your delicious desserts?
Jess: Park + Vine, Sitwells Coffee House and Baba Budan’s all carry LBB stuff on a regular basis. I also run the Pop Up Swap Shop and Last Bites Bakery Bake Sale every Saturday at 1200 Main Street downtown (next door to Park and Vine). I always have a wide assortment of baked goodies there from 11am-3pm. I also take private orders of course, even ship to out-of-towners!

When did you start your business?
Jess: The idea came to me years ago when I tried a vegan cookie for the first time (I was newly vegetarian at that point). It was, in a word, disgusting. I was determined from that point on to make vegan desserts that tasted fantastic that anyone would enjoy…but keep it vegan to stop giving vegan baked goods a bad name! So in March of 2010 I decided one night to just make it happen. I was selling by May at Sitwells.

Was there some inspiration behind it?
Jess: Mostly the gross vegan cookie at first. But then I went vegan myself in October of 2009 and discovered I could make super good vegan cupcakes. My friends and family were freaking out about them and kept telling me they’d sell…and wouldn’t you know it? They do!

What are your favorite things about being part of Cincinnati, both as a business and a citizen?
Jess: I’ve basically grown up here. I’m an import so to speak, but I’ve been here the majority of my life. I love Cincinnati. There’s so much culture here, so much variety, so many amazing places to go, and so much potential for an even cooler future. I love how easy it is to get involved in the community around here, and I adore how tight-knit each community is. The Swap Shop is in OTR. I once lived on Walnut so have a huge place in my heart for the Main Street strip…I love being a part of that again.

What’s the most unique/awesome thing about your business?
Jess: I feel like this would be a great place to say something uber cheesy like “there’s a little love in every cupcake”, but really I just make the stuff I love. I wouldn’t sell what I wouldn’t eat. I try all my new recipes out on vegans and non-vegans alike before I’ll attempt to sell them. I give away just about as much as I sell because I like making people happy with delicious baked goods.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?
Jess: I want a storefront. I’m working on it at the moment, and hope to one day reside in the pop-up location that I’ve been running on the weekends. It’s a lot of work, require a lot of money and a lot of time, and I don’t have most of those at the moment. So I’m losing sleep over trying to find a way to make it happen, but I’m determined and I have a lot of super amazing people on my side working with me to see this dream come to fruition.

What’s your favorite vegan goodie that you make?
Jess: I love the Peanut Buttercream cupcakes, but mostly the icing. Whenever I have leftovers, I like to dip apples in them. It’s delicious. I also make a chocolate cherry cupcake that I fill with cherries and top with a little bit of vegan buttercream icing and MORE cherries. It’s delicious. Seriously. I may have to go make some right now…

Anything you’d like to add? A favorite song to bake to, a most-loved vegan social spot around town, etc.?
Jess: Lately I’ve been baking to She & Him. Anything I can shake my hips to or sing along loudly with is great in my book! But there is always, always music involved in my baking. Can’t bake without it. Or without a kid hanging off my leg typically….

As for favorite vegan social spots? I’d have to say Park + Vine is a favorite. I’m a big fan of Melt as well in Northside. I like vegan food. It’s delicious. More people should try it.

How to contact Last Bites Bakery:

To order some baked goodness, check prices, find out what’s going to be at the next Pop Up bake sale, specials, get on the mailing list, or just talk about what you did today, email me at or check the website out at and click on “contact us”. Don’t forget to stop by the bake sale and Pop Up Swap Shop (and check out the facebook page for that for more info on the Pop Up Swap Shop end of it…it’s a fantastic way to get rid of stuff, get new-to-you stuff, meet your neighbors, and hang out with me!).

March 6, 2011

Let Us Introduce Ourselves. . .

Hello all! We kind of figured if we were going to be sharing our adventures in the kitchen and elsewhere with you, we should introduce ourselves. Feel free to comment and do the same – we’d love to hear from all of you Phro*Zeners!

Tubing is for lovers.

Hey everyone! I’m Meg, the elder of the two Swallow sisters, and that’s me in the photo above goofing off during one of the snow days we had this winter. I went to Ohio University where I studied journalism. I spend a whole lot of time exploring the downtown and Over-the-Rhine areas looking for favorite new restaurants, cool new business ventures, and nifty spots to hang out. I’ll be writing a lot about that area (especially since we sell pints at Park+Vine down on Main!) not only because I really like spending time there, but because I’m excited about the growth that’s happening in our city. I’m really interested in community projects, and will be attempting to find more time to do charity work, etc., all of which I’ll write about.

Everybody wants to be a cat

 Hello! My name is Ellen, the younger of the two Phro*ZEN sisters.  I’m attending the University of Cincinnati for Psychology, if you’ve read previous news articles, yes I changed majors.  Chemical Engineering wasn’t my forte. That little cat is Button. I love her dearly as I do most animals.  I enjoy eating, crafting and all that outdoorsy stuff(camping, canoeing, hiking and whatnot).

-> Inserted by Meg about Ellen: She also creates a lot of the flavor combinations for Phro*Zen, and designed our original logo. Ellen being the more artistically inclined of the two of us, gets most of the creative assignments. She created the Phro*Zen hand design, which Dianne Durban refined and turned into the logo we have today. She is awesome.

Well, that’s it for now! You’ll learn more about us as we go, and we hope to hear from you! Enjoy your Sunday – we’ll write again very soon with an interview with Jess from Last Bites Bakery, who inspired this month’s feature flavor.

“The world is like a mirror you see? Smile and your friends smile back.” Japanese proverb