Yvonne Theresa Bostic
Co-Founder, Kayla’s Italian Ice
Born and raised in the vibrant borough of Queens, New York, I, Yvonne (Theresa) Bostic, was shaped by the dreams and ambitions of my immigrant parents. Hailing from Trinidad and Kingston, Jamaica, my father and mother instilled in me a love for Caribbean fruits and a belief that anything is possible with hard work. Growing up with five siblings, our household was filled with warmth, love, and the aroma of Caribbean cuisine.
My educational journey brought me to Georgia, where I pursued and completed my MBA in project management at Brenau University. The move to Georgia allowed me to share my New York upbringing with my children and pass on the rich cultural tapestry of our roots.
Enter Kayla, my inspiration and co-entrepreneur. At the tender age of nine, Kayla, having experienced lactose intolerance along with the rest of the family, found solace in Italian ice since traditional ice cream was off the table. However, the availability of this favorite treat was limited in our area.
Prior to Kayla’s Italian Ice, Kayla had already dipped her toes into entrepreneurship, selling the popular slime to family and friends. With the earnings from this venture, she approached me with a visionary idea – to create a brand that offered a delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and cholesterol-free Italian ice experience. Thus, Kayla’s Italian Ice was born.
Fast forward to the present, Kayla, now 15 years old, attends West Lake High School and immerses herself in the culinary program they provide. Together, we’ve taken the next step by introducing new flavors without artificial coloring, driven by our research on the potential health risks of certain additives.
The journey took a poignant turn when we discovered the harmful effects of yellow six dye, known to cause cancer in some individuals. During this time, my mother was battling cancer, and Kayla’s Italian Ice, particularly the Dream Mango flavor, became a source of comfort and joy for her. Dedicated to her memory, Dream Mango represents a piece of home and the delicious mangoes she grew up enjoying in Jamaica.
In our pursuit of creating a healthier and more inclusive frozen treat, Kayla’s Italian Ice stands as a testament to the power of dreams, family, and the unwavering belief that even a 9-year-old can make a meaningful impact on the world.
Over the last five years, our venture has not only thrived but has also secured partnerships with esteemed corporate clients, including FedEx Cup PGA Tour Championship thanks to Master Card and Capital Once sponsorship, Papa John’s distribution centers, Delta Air Lines, Concession International, Amazon distribution centers, Coca Cola, Transwestern, and more.
Our organization has further contributed to the community by adding value to our brand through successful financial literacy initiatives and partnerships with organizations such as Operation Hope, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, and The Entrepreneur’s Road Map by Doll Avant. Through these endeavors, we aim to inspire and uplift others on their entrepreneurial journey, just as we have been guided by our dreams, resilience, and the unwavering support of our community.