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ALTON - You might have met Dorothy McCoy before. After all, when she’s riding her Mo’z Sweet Treats tricycle through Alton and selling artisan popsicles, lemonades and ice creams to the people she passes, she’s pretty hard to miss.
Mo’z Sweet Treats has garnered a lot of local love over the years. It’s been a great ride, but even better things are coming with McCoy’s plans to open a storefront this fall.
“This journey has been amazing, and the support — oh my God — has blown my mind,” McCoy said.
August is Black Business Month, which aims to recognize Black-owned businesses and encourage shoppers to support them. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity highlighted Mo’z Sweet Treats on their Facebook page earlier this week as their first Black Business Month feature, adding that the business is also woman- and veteran-owned
To the people of Alton, McCoy is best known for her innovation and hard work. She pedals the non-motorized trike to at least three places every week. Her artisan popsicles stand out for their unique flavors, like cherry pie, strawberry creme pie and peach cobbler.
Mo’z Sweet Treats has also attracted attention for their fried chicken ice cream. These ice cream bars look like a fried chicken leg, with either a Twix or KitKat bar inside instead of a bone. The “breading” is actually crushed Frosted Flakes and graham crackers. McCoy said she received a challenge from somebody who had seen fried chicken ice cream on TikTok, so she decided to give it a shot.
“I was like, man, let me try. So I tried and I rocked it,” she said, adding that her fried chicken ice creams are much cheaper than what the TikTokkers charge.
Mo’z Sweet Treats is currently only available out of the trike; you can follow the business on social media to see where they’ll be every week. But McCoy hopes to eventually purchase a motor for the tricycle so she can go farther, and she has plans to open her storefront as early as October.
“The heat index, that’s what gets you,” she joked about riding the trike. “And it’s only me. So if I break down, there ain’t nobody around. It’s just me.”
She remembers when part of her tricycle literally broke in half. Icicle Tricycles got her set up with a new trike, and the company has helped her finetune her system over the years. But McCoy is excited to open her brick-and-mortar spot at 413 Ridge Street in Alton this fall.
To speed up the process and help offset the cost of equipment, Mo’z Sweet Treats is offering sponsorships. There are three sponsorship levels topping out at $300, and McCoy will display your business’s logo on her trike or inside her storefront. She encourages other small businesses to support one another.
“If the business owners here in Alton get on board with the food trucks, we can promote you,” she explained. “You give us business, we give you business in turn. We all work together. There’s enough money out there for everybody.”
McCoy added that she tries to shop locally as much as possible, and makes a point to buy fruit for her lemonades and popsicles from Black farmers in Illinois. As summer winds down, she asks people to support Alton’s small businesses so they can continue to grow, just like she hopes to do this fall.
“All these small businesses, we’re broke business owners. Literally. So understand we’re not begging for your business, but we would love for you all to support small businesses on a constant basis, too,” McCoy said. “The food truck community, we’re about to show up and show out for you all. I promise. If you all just go ahead and walk with us for a little while longer, we are going to show up and show out just for you. I’m telling you, we’re coming. Just give us a little bit of time.”
To learn more about Mo’z Sweet Treats, including information about sponsorships or where to find McCoy and try the fried chicken ice cream for yourself, visit Mo’z Sweet Treats at their Facebook page and Instagram profile.
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