Double Dips Ice Creamery a rural microentrepreneur success

Small Business
Small Towns

As if small towns aren’t already sweet enough, Double Dips Ice Creamery in North Platte, Nebraska makes it even sweeter.

Lori Bergman began her ice cream business more than a decade ago at fairs and local events, selling to customers from a food trailer. In August 2019, she made the leap into a brick and mortar storefront in downtown North Platte, taking on the dessert trade full time.

Double Dips now employs eight people and has been growing its offerings steadily. The menu that started with ice cream now includes cookies, brownies, and other baked goods, bursting boba, seasonal items, and an array of other unique desserts. For central Nebraskans, this is the perfect place to hang out and enjoy ice cream and treats.

Lori’s success shows how business programs can help propel entrepreneurs. She worked with the Nebraska Business Development Center to develop her business and later connected with the Center for Rural Affairs. 

The Center was able to help Lori secure financing through support from a federal program called the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Along with loan funds, RMAP allows the Center to help clients through technical assistance, such as business planning, organizing expenses, and much more.

“Creating a business plan was very helpful,” Lori said, referring to the requirement that businesses with a Center loan complete a business plan. “I have pretty much stuck to it since opening the store last year.”

So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped Double Dips from starting up, renovating, and growing their menu. For all of her work, Lori earned the North Platte Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year Award and North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau Tourism Award in 2020. With a downtown revitalization project in progress and a steady flow of ice cream eaters, Double Dips looks poised to prosper.

The federal RMAP program helps support small rural businesses like Double Dips Ice Creamery nationwide. Congress recently passed an omnibus spending bill which provides RMAP with $6 million in funding in 2021. This ensures institutions like the Center for Rural Affairs can continue to help businesses like Lori’s succeed.

Feature photo submitted