MEET THIS LOCAL: Luisa Santos knows how to keep it cool. As the founder of Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream, she has years of experience dishing out cool snacks from her downtown Miami location.
After studying international relations at Miami-Dade College, she transferred to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to study political economy. Her dorm room in D.C. is where she started experimenting with liquid nitrogen to make her products. While taking an entrepreneurship course, she got a team of students to help launch a test run of her products in D.C.-area farmer’s markets. She eventually decided to go full force.
But why liquid nitrogen?
“If you do freeze ice cream using liquid nitrogen, you have the option to take away all preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers and really go back to really basic, clean ice cream,” Luisa said.
WHAT SHE’S DOING: On top of providing Miami with cool treats, Luisa empowers her employees by providing financial workshops. Once a quarter the team will gather and learn from a financial expert on topics like credit cards, financial literacy, and establishing credit.
“Education has always been a passion of mine, so I thought, ‘If I’m going to be employing people, how can I add more value to their lives and be truly a great employer?’ Luisa said. “We mostly employ students, either in their last years of high school or early years of college – and it’s mostly young women.”
FUN FACT: In early 2015, Lulu’s adopted one of the dairy cows at Dakin Dairy Farm – where they get the cream and milk for their ice cream base – and named her Lulu. She weighs 2,000 pounds.
QUOTABLE: “I think that – I tell this to my mom all the time – being an immigrant, I just see in her the resourcefulness that she had to have to just survive. Before a side hustle was popular, she was making flowers for my dance recitals and selling them to make extra money,” Luisa said. “She started sewing bags for all the dance teams and selling them to make money. I saw in her someone who took any opportunity she got, made the most of it.”
HOW YOU CAN SAMPLE THE TREATS: Join Louisa and hundreds of other inspiring women at Baptist Health’s 2019 Women’s Summit this Friday. She’ll be on-hand dishing out ice cream as a part of an end-of-day ice cream social, capping off a full day of events.
The one-day event will focus on leveraging courage through three main pillars: health and wellness, professional life, and mentorship. There will also be a self-care lounge with health screenings, professional headshots, and a lady boss marketplace featuring local sellers like Hair to the Queen, Lilly Be, and Krelwear. Reserve your spot today.