Sugar Hill Creamery in Harlem continues community connection during protests

HARLEM -- Behind every scoop at this family-owned Harlem ice cream shop is a deep connection to the community. It is one the owners believe in and want to see thrive.

Sugar Hill Creamery is located at 184 Lenox Avenue.

Petrushka Larsen pivoted from museum art education. Nick Larsen left the world of fine dining. Together they created Sugar Hill Creamery in their very own neighborhood

"What's great about being in Harlem amongst our neighborhood, we get everything, if they love it they let you know and if they don't they'll let you know," Nick said.

Aside from serving up homemade ice cream with inventive flavors like sweet socialism, they use their space, at least before the pandemic, for neighborhood gatherings like new moms groups to discussions on race and desegregating the schools.

They're both heartened to see the recent calls to action for social justice.

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"Some of the marches, the path was going down Lenox," he said.

"That is an amazing sight to see and we're seeing it from our window," she said.

The window through which the ice cream is now being served, each scoop providing a sweet diversion.

"The ice cream shop is always about taking care of someone else and the joy you get from it is seeing their joy," Petrushka said. "You are part of so many people's lives you are a part of the memories they make or how they reward themselves. It's a very rewarding feeling."

The Larsens are so committed to their community, they're continuing some of their social gatherings virtually while the pandemic continues. They hope to soon open their second shop in Harlem.