Embracing Tradition with a Touch of Sweetness
Indulge in Exceptional Vanilla Flavors and Delightful Moments
Nataki Muhammad raves about Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream, where the scoop she can’t resist is vanilla. This classic flavor holds special significance as it was the first creation by her husband, Yahya Muhammad, when he began experimenting with homemade ice cream. Little did they know that this passion would lead to the establishment of their beloved ice cream business. The unparalleled taste and nostalgic experience of their vanilla flavor make it a customer favorite.
“This vanilla is absolutely exceptional,” Nataki exclaims. “If you’ve ever savored homemade ice cream made by your mother or grandmother, our vanilla will transport you back in time.”
A South Side Gem: From Humble Beginnings to Community Favorite
Yahya and Nataki Muhammad are the proud owners of Shawn Michelle’s, a treasured institution nestled in the historic Rosenwald building on 47th Street and Wabash Avenue in Bronzeville. Their store has stood the test of time, captivating the neighborhood with its delectable offerings, even during the peak of the pandemic.
Recently, the duo decided to expand their homemade ice cream empire to the South Suburban Olympia Fields. Celebrating this milestone, they hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early July. Opening a suburban location was an obvious choice, driven by the devoted following Shawn Michelle’s had already garnered in the area.
The Black community in Chicago has wholeheartedly embraced Shawn Michelle’s, and the ice cream parlor reciprocated their love with flavors like “Melanin Magic.” Olympia Fields, with its population being nearly 80 percent Black according to the latest Census, provides the perfect community for this expansion.
“There were countless days when customers would ask, ‘When will you come to the South Suburbs?'” Muhammad shares. “We had an existing customer base waiting for us. There’s also nothing quite like Shawn Michelle’s in that area, so we’re filling a significant gap in Olympia Fields.”
A Drive-Thru and Irresistible Flavors: A Match Made in Ice Cream Heaven
Although the South Suburban location is relatively new, it has already made a remarkable impression on the community. Customers have been enthralled by the mouthwatering homemade ice cream and thrilled with the convenience of the new drive-thru option – a first for Shawn Michelle’s.
“Customers are genuinely excited,” Muhammad beams. “Their support for our new location has been outstanding.”
And it’s well-deserved support indeed. In its 16 years of existence, Shawn Michelle’s has had various brick-and-mortar locations throughout the city. The ice cream shop has graced Chicago with its presence, from the Time Out Market food hall to as far north as East Lakeview. The original location, initially named “Jabrill’s Supreme Cream,” was in Chatham. However, tragedy struck when Yahya’s sister, Shawn, tragically passed away in a car accident in 1999.
“My sister-in-law Shawn was the one who encouraged him to pursue his dream and open an ice cream store,” Muhammad fondly remembers. “She was incredible and a significant reason why we are here.”
Yahya Muhammad temporarily closed the business but reopened with a new name in honor of his late sister. Today, with the addition of their South Suburban location, it’s evident that Shawn Michelle’s has solidified its position as a beloved ice cream parlor on Chicago’s South Side.
“We feel incredibly honored,” Muhammad expresses with gratitude. “Our main focus is providing an exceptional ice cream experience. This surpasses everything, as everyone deserves to indulge in the delight of homemade ice cream.”
Let’s get a taste of that delightful experience by visiting Ice Cream, where Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream awaits.