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

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Little G Ice Cream Instagram
Cream cheese ice cream. Carrot cake chunks (frosted 😏). Candied walnuts. Mic drop 🀀🎀 #littlegicecream #littlegicecreamco #goldbely #foodexplorer
First batch of Easter Egg Hunt! 🐣🌷(swipe left to see more πŸ˜‰) This flavor features a super creamy malted milk ice cream loaded with a mix of kit kats, Twix, crunch bar, and Heath bar. Usually we make everything from scratch (literally everything), but this flavor takes Easter candy to a whole new level πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ¦πŸ«πŸ₯› #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecream #goldbely #foodexplorer
No more appropriate way to celebrate 15k followers than with a FLAVOR CONTEST! 🍦We're taking ideas for summer flavors β˜€οΈπŸ„πŸ»πŸ–. To enter: comment your ice cream flavor idea below (optional: give it a name). The winner gets a 6 pack of pints shipped to their door! πŸ“¦βœˆοΈ. Enter as many different flavors as you want! Also, feeling the love @wholefoodsboston @inkblockboston with this entire freezer of little g ❀🍦#littlegicecream #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecreamflavorcontest
They're here! You can now order our spring flavors on @goldbely (link in bio) πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ«πŸ₯•πŸͺ🌷🐰🐣. Also, we're crazy and decided to do a last minute switch πŸ™ƒ. Marshmallow Crispy Treat was replaced by Fluffer Cookie (pb ice cream with chocolate sandwich cookies and homemade marshmallow swirl). Thank you to the 1,000+ people who voted ❀πŸͺπŸ₯œ #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecream #goldbely #foodexplorer
Tomorrow the three scoops in the back will be gone. Tuesday the 21st is the last day to order our current specials πŸ˜ͺ. Very sad to see this killer line up go. Don't worry too much though, there's 6 more new flavors coming soon πŸ˜‰. P.S. can you name all these little g flavors? #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecream #goldbely #foodexplorer
I'll miss you Go Bananas 😭🍌🍞🍫. This flavor is brown butter ice cream with banana bread chunks, candied walnuts and mini chocolate chips. It's official, the last day to order special flavors is Tuesday! Repost @tyler2106 ・・・ Little g's 'Go Bananas' ice cream. This is a brown butter base with banana bread chunks, candied walnuts, and mini chocolate chips. The brown butter base was high quality, but was overwhelmed by the banana bread chunks... which I wasn't upset about. The banana bread chunks were incredible. Dense, moist, and managed to add a delicious banana flavor all throughout the pint. The candied walnuts were very flavorful and added a nice crunchy texture to the pint. The mini chocolate chips again were plentiful, but really weren't anything special tasting. Overall, this was a really fun pint to eat. I'm a huge banana bread fan, so when Grace takes ice cream and adds banana bread and all the ingredients that make banana bread even better, I'm going to love it. Rating: 10/10. If you're thinking about putting in an order and want to save $25, use my @goldbely referral code: tylerpersimmonpudding1. @littlegicecream #littlegicecream #banana #bananas #walnuts #chocolate #chocolatechip #bananabread #boston #icecreamlover #icecreamaddict #icecream #icecreameqlsprs #icecreameveryday #poweredbyicecream #foodie #foodporn #food #instafood #junkfood #yummy #nomnom #snack #iifym #flexibledieting #foodexplorer #fitness #fitspo #fit
🚨 Heads up! 🚨 It's the last week to order our special flavors, including this flavor: Going to the Circus (animal cracker ice cream loaded with sprinkles, buttercream, and frosted animal crackers). Order on @goldbely before they're gone! 🍦🐘πŸŽͺπŸŽ‰ #littlegicecream #littlegicecreamco #goldbely #foodexplorer
We use huge, whole candied pecans in our Maple Pecan French Toast ice cream πŸ˜πŸ’―. They pair perfectly with the creamy maple ice cream, french toast chunks, and cinnamon cream cheese swirl πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸž #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecream
Yes we make our rice crispy treats with a paddle πŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ (don't worry, it's made for stirring food!) and yes each batch contains about 72,534,216 marshmallows πŸ’πŸΌβ˜οΈπŸšπŸ¦ #littlegicecream #littlegicecreamco
One year ago I hauled my first delivery through a snow storm to a tiny local market (shoutout to @siena_farms) in Boston. Today I was on the @rachaelrayshow holding a check for $5,000 for @danafarber. Thank you for making this the best year ever. Can't wait to see what the future holds! By the way, the show airs the 19th πŸ‘πŸΌ #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecream #rachaelray #rachaelrayshow
2016 was one sweet year! What better way to end it than a SALE! πŸ’ΈπŸ’° Use the code "BYEBUY16" on @goldbely to get 16% off your order πŸ’πŸΌ. Only valid through Saturday the 31st #littlegicecreamco #littlegicecream #goldbely #foodexplorer
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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

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