Meet Yojaida Heredia from Miss Naomi’s Craft Ice Cream

The small batch, Black woman-owned ice cream and paleta popup business is named after Heredia's grandmother.
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Yojaida Heredia, owner of Miss Naomi’s Ice Cream.

Yojaida Heredia owns and runs Miss Naomi’s Craft Ice Cream, a small batch, Black woman-owned ice cream popup business named after her grandmother. We caught up with Heredia to learn all about making ice cream and starting her own business.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m from Providence, born and raised! I identify as Afro-Latina and Black, and I come from a huge family of six siblings. I went to school at Rhode Island College for Public Policy and Africana Studies. I have worked in small businesses here in Rhode Island for a couple of years now and love the atmosphere and sense of community.

Your grandmother is the inspiration behind Miss Naomi’s, which I love. What is she like? 

My grandmother Naomi is an amazing woman. She is a mother to four daughters and many (many) grandchildren that all love spending time with her. As the inspiration for starting this business, I want to memorialize her while she is here with us, so that she can enjoy it as well. That’s sort of how I came up with the logo, It’s floral and inspired by an older decade, but it also represents giving my grandmother her flowers and recognition while she’s still here.

What was the process of starting your own business like? How have you found the response to be?

During quarantine, like a lot of people, I had way too much time on my hands. I went through the stages of anxiety, frustration and trying to keep busy. So I did some ice cream research, some test making and, eventually, was just like, “Okay, I think I’m going to start my own business.” Owning an ice cream shop has been a dream of mine, but never something I thought I’d be able to put into action! I’ve found the response to be very welcoming by other small biz owners and people in the community.

What does it mean to you to be a millennial, Black woman-owned business in the city you grew up in?

To be a millennial and a Black woman in Providence with an ice cream business, I think it means to represent the city a little more than some of the places we see as so popular and “cool.”

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A paleta from Miss Naomi’s Ice Cream.

Your ice cream and paleta varieties are very unique, how do you go about creating them?

My flavors are inspired by my upbringing and culture. So some of them are my favorite Dominican beverages and food items, and some are inspired by desserts my grandmother would make.

What’s your favorite flavor?

My favorite flavor would have to be the Cafe con Leche! I love the flavor of the Bustelo and cream, and the Maria cookies add such a nice crunch and texture.

Who are some of your favorite Rhode Island-based businesses?

My favorites are the Glow Cafe and Juice Bar for smoothies and acai bowls, the Nitro Bar for great coffee and Fortnight for wine!

Where can folks find Miss Naomi’s?

Our Instagram is @missnaomisicecream. I’m only doing pint pre-sales and pickups in Providence for now. Check my Instagram for the latest details.

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