It’s been a long journey for LA’s Happy Ice Founder, Lemeir Mitchell.
The Philly native moved to Los Angeles in 2016 with no intention of entering into the restaurant business. In fact, he was a tattoo artist you may have seen on Black Ink Crew: Compton. But he wanted to contribute a piece of his hometown to the diverse LA food scene.
After returning and interning at a Philly staple for water ice, he launched his first Happy Ice truck in 2017. The vegan-friendly treat took off, and soon he had a second truck and an investor to open a brick-and-mortar store last March with the expectation of opening that summer. That didn’t happen because of numerous delays. Then the coronavirus delayed the opening along with the riots.
With protests happening all around the city due to the Black Lives Matter Movement and outcry against the murder of George Floyd, Mitchell used foresight to protect his store.
He began putting up his photo, and Black-Owned signs on the store window and walls to deter rioters. When rioters began shattering windows and burning property in the area, Mitchell, along with others, stood outside of his building all night, putting out small fires around them. He also started communicating with rioters on how hard he had worked to build his store, which he believes is why they left his business and others around it unscathed.
Despite any damage to the buildings around him, Lemeir supports and believes in the movement, saying to Forbes “I felt super bad for the businesses that were being destroyed.. at the same time, I felt bad for the people who were stealing.” Mitchell is empathic to those who feel like they have any income or are just angry at everything that is happening in the country right now.
To show solidarity for the BLM and the celebration of Juneteenth, Lemeir colored his food trucks all Black and gave all proceeds from his Juneteenth sales to the movement.
“I love the support….I feel like the more that people come together, the more people show support and unity, the faster we’ll get to the results that we want to see.”
To celebrate the official grand opening. Mitchell thanked his family, friends, community, and his #1 supporter Danielle and made the day even more special by popping the question. Wishing them tons of success! Congratulations.
Watch the proposal below: