18-year-old Little G Ice Cream founder opens Kickstarter for New York scoop shop


Grace Conner's company is 2 years old, and she herself is only 18.

The teenager opened Little G Ice Cream Co. in April 2015 -- not just due to a love for churning ice cream, but as therapy following complications of a brain tumor removal in March of that year. As of the PEOPLE Magazine profile in October 2016, Conner is better -- but still requires daily medications to replace hormones the tumor removal left her body without.

"Creating Little G's was key to her recovery, something she has to move forward for," Conner's mother, Melissa Schneider, told PEOPLE. "A driving force, like, 'I will be better.'"

Conner had been a longtime baker before founding Little G. She started baking at 5, and by 8 she sold baked goods for friends and family. After receiving an ice cream maker in second grade, she wouldn't stop making her own desserts -- with her own unique, over-the-top flavors to boot.

Conner's flavors sold more quickly than she could make it, and she eventually grew out of her home kitchen. After entering a commercial kitchen, she began selling to local farmers markets in Massachusetts. Selling out again and again, but not having the money to ship large batches to stores, Conner began selling on goldbely.com. There, she's labeled "America's Youngest Ice Cream Rockstar."

Check out photos from the company's Instagram

Not only does Little G have a heartwarming story, it boasts flavors you cannot get anywhere else. The small batch flavors have enticing names like Snack Attack, Movie Night and Cowboy Cookie. Little G also releases season flavors, such as Easter Egg Hunt for spring.

Now, Conner wants to take Little G to the next level. On Wednesday, her 18th birthday, she announced that she opened a Kickstarter to help fund a scoop shop in New York City.

"Prior to launching this Kickstarter campaign, I have financed my business entirely with my personal savings and profits, and without debt," she said on the Kickstarter page. "I am now seeking funding from those who share my belief that little g brings a smile with every lick."

Conner doesn't just want to provide ice cream to hungry New Yorkers -- she wants to do some good. "I want my scoop shop to make a difference in the lives of children," she said. "I will continue taking time out to scoop ice cream for the children at Dana Farber's Jimmy Fund Pediatric Clinic in Boston and will give a portion of sales of my shop to support the research and treatment of children's cancers."

After graduating high school in May, Conner will take a gap year before starting college to work on Little G fulltime. You can donate to her Kickstarter here by April 27, and purchase ice cream here.

Update: Conner has decided to end her Kickstarter campaign. She said in a statement on the page:

Hello! First off, thank you so much for supporting my Kickstarter. As of now, I have decided to end the project It is still my dream to someday open up a scoop shop, but right now I need to focus on my wholesale and online businesses. I want to have little g available in stores across the nation and have it available for customers beyond New York and Boston. I promise to keep making the best possible ice cream for you all, my biggest fans, and I am so thankful for your support. Stay tuned for an exciting collaboration with new flavors coming soon! Hopefully you'll see little g on your local grocer's shelf soon :) --Grace