In the winter of 2015, a group named the South Osborne Syrian Refugee Initiative (SOSRI) was formed to bring the South Osborne community together to help with the humanitarian crisis happening in Syria. They wanted to help sponsor refugees from Syria and have them settle in the South Osborne neighbourhood, a small corner of the world in Winnipeg, Canada. The group was planning on sponsoring the family of Zainab Ali; her family was scattered across Lebanon and Turkey, living in dangerous conditions. Zainab was in Winnipeg because her husband Joseph, a dairy scientist, was plant manager at a local cheese plant. Zainab and Joseph had recently moved from Ontario and were still fairly new to the city.
As a second-generation dairy scientist, Joseph has a wealth of knowledge in the dairy industry. He wanted to give back to the community as a way of saying “thank-you” for sponsoring his wife’s family and safely bringing them from the Middle East to call Winnipeg home. Further, he wanted to find a way to support his family by providing employment when they arrived in Winnipeg. So, together with his wife and their third business partner, Darryl Stewart, the plans for Winnipeg’s first super-premium, made-from-scratch hard ice cream shop were put into motion. In March 2017, Chaeban Ice Cream began its small beginnings. Leases were signed, contractors were hired, and recipes began to be developed.
In true Winnipeg fashion, Chaeban Ice Cream opened its doors on the first day of winter in December 2017. Today, Chaeban Ice Cream thrives with Winnipeg’s resounding support and love of ice cream (in all seasons). Their ice cream can also be found in grocery stores across Manitoba.