Dreaming of a sweeter, stronger Haiti
The Bèl Rèv story begins with two Brooklyn, NY-based non-profits: Blue Marble Dreams & Haiti 155.
Blue Marble Dreams is the unique social venture of Blue Marble Ice Cream. Its mission is to create jobs, joy and prosperity through the unlikely medium of ice cream. Friends and co-founders, Alexis and Jennie, help local women build ice cream businesses in areas recovering from conflict or natural disaster with the belief that these sweet, small enterprises can revive both the spirit and economy of a community.
Haiti 155 was founded by brothers Lionel and Constant Bernard. The “155” represents the address of their childhood home in Port au Prince, Haiti, where their grandmother and mother offered food, shelter and love to countless children and neighbors for over 30 years. Similar in spirit, Haiti 155 has been nurturing the health and happiness of its community since the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Together, we are working to bring Bèl Rèv to life. We aim to build this shop into a small-size but big-impact leader in the Port au Prince community by:
Elevating the local business landscape with a beautiful, professional and sustainable social enterprise.
Generating valuable and abundant opportunity for our customers and neighbors.
Creating a ‘sweet dream’-like oasis where people feel welcome, happy and inspired.
Welcome to our happy place
We are aiming for a Summer 2015 grand opening, check back for updates!
Bèl Rèv will be located in the bustling neighborhood of Fontamara, situated in the northwest corner of Port-Au-Prince. To find it, head toward Léogâne and look for the brightest, pinkest, happiest ice cream shop you ever did see.
Once you’ve arrived, you will notice that we have a pretty unique look. For starters, we built the shop out of repurposed shipping containers. Special thanks to Malark Logistics, for donating these containers and to Mobile Grid and Metalab Studio, who helped us transform these big metal boxes into a colorful ice cream oasis.
The front container features what first appears to be a giant set of space-age wings. It’s actually a state-of-the-art solar panel system, provided by NRG, which serves as part of a unique “microgrid” tailored to the shop’s needs that combines solar panels, 10kW of batteries, inverters and a 10kW generator. With this microgrid, Bèl Rèv can be virtually 100% energy independent and function free of any city grid disruptions.
Enjoy a true taste of Haitian flavor
Bèl Rèv will offer outrageously delicious soft serve ice cream flavored with local fruits, coffee and cocoa. Mango, passion fruit, coconut…you can try them one at a time or enjoy a swirl of two!
Beyond ice cream, Bèl Rèv will be serving a variety sweet and savory snacks, all made in-house, plus fresh juices, smoothies, hot and iced Haitian-grown coffee and a selection of sodas. Guests can take their goodies to go or enjoy them in our tranquil courtyard.
At Bèl Rèv, we source as much as we can from Haitian farmers and producers. Aside from boosting the local economy, this helps us create the best, freshest food for you and your family.
Please check back soon for more details on our delicious menu.
The heart and soul of Bèl Rèv
At Bèl Rèv, we have a big family made up of the many women and men who help this shop shine bright. Some of the women you will see behind our counter are members of KOFAVIV, a tremendous local organization dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual violence. While they have endured terrible hardship, these women are determined to build happy, safe and self-reliant lives. Other faces you’re likely to see around Bèl Rèv are our Fontamara friends and neighbors who support the business in myriad ways. We hope you will come by to meet us in person, but in the meantime, here’s an introduction to some of the Bèl Rèv family members (more added soon!)…
Opportunities to gather, connect and grow
Bèl Rèv will have MUCH more than just ice cream and other sweet treats to offer.
We will soon be hosting a variety of educational, social, and creative programs, such as literacy classes, art lessons, game nights, computer training, and wellness workshops. Check back soon for a listing of upcoming events and possibilities.
Helping the Bèl Rèv mission take hold
The Bèl Rèv story would not be complete without an introduction to some of the dear friends who have helped us bring this shop to life. Meet a few…
NRG. NRG was among Bèl Rèv’s earliest supporters and has continued to generously champion its success in several important ways – powering the store, arranging the donation of shipping containers from Malark Logistics, and supporting the full fabrication work by Mobile Grid and Metalab Studio.
NRG Renew, a part of the NRG family of companies, installed 9kW of solar panels, 10kW of batteries, inverters and a 10kW generator. The store will include a solar installation and produce enough power to offset the entire ice cream operation. This allows Bèl Rèv to function in the absence of grid power, thereby preventing any costly disruptions to its operations and service
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Funding support from the Clinton Foundation has been vital to the development and launch of Bèl Rèv, as is their shared interest in job creation, environmental sustainability and local sourcing.
JetBlue. JetBlue has generously supported Bèl Rèv from it’s inception by assisting with the travel of international project staff and volunteers and the transportation of needed supplies.
Retail Design Institute. RDI is a nationwide association of design professionals. Their leadership supported Bèl Rèv through the procurement of in-kind donations of high-end furniture and flooring from Knoll and Bolon, along with lighting, décor pieces, signage and other items.
We Care for Your Kids Foundation. This Foundation – which is the charitable arm of Tribeca Pediatrics, NYC’s wildly popular network of pediatric care providers – was the first funder to recognize the unique potential of Bèl Rèv and take the leap with us.
Ciné Institute. Haiti’s first and only film school has dispatched and managed a team of video and sound technicians to capture footage of the people and developments of Bèl Rèv.
BYKids. BYKids is a non-profit organization that pairs master filmmakers with youth from around the world to create short documentaries educating Americans about globally relevant issues. Alongside a promising young filmmaker in Haiti, BYKids will be directing and producing a film that tells the story of Bèl Rèv.
If you have an idea, question or would like to join us in this special venture, we’d love to hear from you! Here’s how to reach us:
Let's create more jobs, joy and prosperity TOGETHER
While Bèl Rèv will eventually mature into a fully self-sustaining enterprise, it is still very much in its infancy. We need to nurture its development so it can grow up tall and strong and live a long, prosperous life.
By contributing to Bèl Rèv, you are investing in the happiness and capacity of our community in Port au Prince. All donations are processed through Blue Marble Dreams and are fully tax-deductible.
Mesi anpil / thank you so much for your generosity and friendship!
Hot off the presses!
We are very grateful for the love and recognition we’ve gotten from the media. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorite pieces: