Not all hope was lost for Sydney Newton, who was laid off from her job during the height of COVID-19.

The Afro reports Newton had previously worked as a server at The Capital Grille in Baltimore, MD. To occupy her time following the job loss, she focused on educating her children while they were completing their studies virtually, and she began making ice cream. It started with delivering sweet treats to family before Newton branched into drop-off orders for locals.

“They loved it, and I did too. I loved that you could do so many things with ice cream. You can experiment with flavors, textures, smells and colors,” Newton said, according to the outlet. “We started delivering the ice cream to my sister and my mom, and they told me I should put it on Instagram to deliver it to more people, and we did.”

Newton then began consistently serving customers in Northeast Baltimore’s Belair-Edison neighborhood two days a week through the creation of Sydney’s Ice Creams. Now, she is looking to make her hobby a permanent venture through the launch of a brick-and-mortar ice cream shop set to open its doors in April 2024.

Locals will be able to experience playful flavors, which include birthday cake, cherry cheesecake, and s’mores, and Newton is looking to add sorbets to the menu too.

“I think something as fun as an ice cream shop where people can come together and enjoy each other’s company is what the neighborhood needs,” Newton told the Afro. “I think it’s going to help revitalize the neighborhood, and hopefully it will encourage other business owners to come into the neighborhood.”

Newton’s storefront will be coming to the area through the aid of Belair-Edison Neighborhoods Real Estate Development Manager John Watkins. The project plan, which includes a kitchen for Newton to bake her goods, is projected to cost at least $280,000 through the organization’s real estate program.

“I think it will definitely impact the neighborhood in a positive way. We have about 50 businesses on Belair Road, and Sydney’s ice cream parlor is the first of its kind,” Watkins explained to the Afro. “A lot of our residents want to be able to spend money in the neighborhood that they live in. I think it’s going to be a great addition.”