You may not be familiar with Hattie Girl premium ice cream here in the Flint area, but you soon will be. The Detroit-made product is going national and flavors that have been enticing folks in the Metro Detroit area will soon be available at Walmart stores throughout the United States.

Humble Beginning

The brand's founder and general manager James Render says it all began when his parents bought him an ice cream maker when he was in third grade. From there, he went on to establish the Hattie Girl brand in 2006, paying homage to his mother whose name is Hattie.

[Render's mother] learned how to make ice cream and other homemade desserts from her grandmother in rural Alabama," Rdnder says. "My mother always told me how she used to talk to her, she'd say, 'Girl, Hattie.'"

Render opted to flip the phrase around, naming his company Hattie Girl.

In 2012, Render purchased an abandoned church in Detroit. Working as a public school teacher, it took another half dozen years to begin manufacturing ice cream flavors like Sweet Potato Pie with Pecans, Chocolate Pound Cake, Pistachio, Butter Pecan, Vanilla, and Strawberry.

Mom's Pride Shines Through

Render says his 86-year-old mother prayed for his success and is delighted to see the brand grow. She helps in the manufacturing process and tells Detroit's WDIV-TV that she hasn't missed a day of work since 2018.

Expanding Throughout the Country

Render says they're working to expand the brand and make it available in Walmart stores throughout the country. He says the supply at the Livonia location sold out almost immediately.

“All credit to the Lord, Lord Savior Jesus,” Render said. “He blessed me. I’m just amazed at what we do and what he has done in my life.”

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