Kookies & Kream Creamery, a new ice cream parlor opened last month in Flatbush, is the latest addition to a decades-long tradition of business ownership for the Bailey family.

“I incorporate my whole family,” Daphne Bailey told BK Reader. Bailey owns and operates the Flatbush Avenue shop with her two sons Kwame and Zequan Bailey.

Growing up, Bailey watched her family run various mom-and-pop shops across New York City. “I was always wanting to be like them, go behind the counter and imitate them.”

Photo: Christopher Edwards for BK Reader.

Bailey opened her first ice cream parlor in 1990, but closed it a few years later. A number of other businesses have followed, including childcare center Imani Day School which opened in 1999 and still operates today.

After seeing the success of ice cream chains like Carvel, Bailey was inspired to open her own version that better fits her community. “Flatbush is our community, you know, and we need something upscale,” said Bailey.

“Something to bring to the community where you can say ‘Wow, this is nice. I would like to eat at this establishment.’”

Photo: Christopher Edwards for BK Reader.

Kookies and Kream Creamery offers a wide array of choices. From classic to tropical ice cream flavors, to vegan and sugar free options. Sherbet, sorbet, gelato, milkshakes and freshly baked cookies are also on the menu. Customers can even pick up hot food options like sandwiches and patties.

The Bailey family hopes the community seeing a Black family own a business in the changing neighborhood will be inspiring.

“Gentrification is very real,” Zequan Bailey said. “We wanted to show that when a nice business comes into town, that it’s not just ‘Oh, they must be white owners.’”

Photo: Christopher Edwards for BK Reader.

The shop has already received support from community leaders like Council Member Farah Louis and Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District President Kenneth Mbnou, who held a grand opening event for the shop on July 31. 

“So proud to have this independent and Black-owned ice cream parlor open its doors in my district.” Louis wrote on Twitter.

The Baileys hope to expand their business and be black representation in the ice cream world. “Our thing is expansion and representation, especially in the ice cream world,” Zequan Bailey said.

“We want to be like Ben & Jerry’s. That’s our goal.”

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Christopher Edwards

Christopher Edwards is a Brooklyn-based writer and student at Borough of Manhattan Community College

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