“Ever since I was little, Karmen and I have wanted to start a business together," Nico Nguyen says.
Nico and best friend Karmen Lau are co-founders of Milky Treats Ice Cream in Plano. The pair grew up in Richardson, where they attended the same middle school. After becoming fast friends, they hashed out their life plan: graduate from college, get a stable job, save some money and start a business together.
They originally intended to open a boba shop, but seeing how many were already in the area, they decided on ice cream.
Check out this list of 5 boba shops to try in Collin County.
“Karmen and I were all about positive energy, good vibes and all that. We figured that ice cream makes people happy and represents what we stand for,” Nico says.
Enter Milky Treats, the trendy ice cream shop that has captured the hearts (and ravenous appetites) of foodies nationwide. They're known for their highly Instagrammable cereal infused ice cream and for their stellar social media presence — their Instagram has 11K followers and their TikTok has a whopping 152K.
The Milky Treats shop and ice cream flavors are so aesthetic that the company's Instagram presence took care of itself.
“We wanted it to be kind of edgy, not bubblegum-y. You look at a lot of ice cream parlors and they’re all bright pink. It's just very cliche,” Nico says.
Nico and Karmen designed their ice cream shop with a minimalist look, using neon lights and black and white walls to showcase their vibrantly colored ice cream. They added graffiti-inspired art, inspired by Nico's time skating in high school. The end result? An ice cream shop that Generation Z, Milky Treats's target audience, all want on their Instagram feeds.
Although Milky Treats has always been active on Instagram, the company only expanded their social media presence to TikTok because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We saw a huge decrease in sales during the pandemic. It didn't help that our location is kind of hidden around the corner, so not a lot of people know where we are,” Nico says.
Milky Treats's teenage employees taught their bosses how to make TikToks, and Nico and Karmen quickly realized that the key to a successful page is to just keep posting.
“It's always the ideas that I come up with when I’m just in the restroom and record in a minute that go viral," Nico jokes.
Thankfully the TikTok algorithm isn't always random. A video highlighting Nico and Karmen's journey as small business owners garnered over 2.5 million views. Soon after, a line was snaking around the building with customers visiting from around the country to meet the best friends and their lively employees.
There's a lot to love about Milky Treats: the NYC aesthetic, their sinfully creamy cereal infused ice cream. It's like treating yourself to the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl, but without all the mushy cereal residue. And with heavy cream ... So basically it's ten times better.
But at the heart of it all, Milky Treats is fueled by its passionate staff: the high school workers who make TikToks in their free time, and the best friends who knew in middle school that they wanted to create something beautiful together.
We put Milky Treats on a list of 5 unique ice cream shops in Collin County!
Looking for more North Texas social media influencers? Here's a list of 5 TikTok creators in the area.