As a young girl, Tamara’s family remained relatively isolated from the other families that lived around them. After church on Sundays, when other families would go out for ice cream, her family remained conspicuously absent from such gatherings. This would all change, however, after Tamara’s mother purchased a simple, hand-crank ice cream machine at a garage sale for a mere $2. A small investment, to be sure, but one that would prove invaluable to Keefe’s understanding of herself and her purpose.
The simple ice cream maker churned out more than delicious frozen treats, because now, rather than going out for ice cream, families began coming over to Tamara’s house to participate in making their own. Each family would bring a different ingredient — the sugar, the cream, the fruit, etc — and through this communal effort, where class and status were thrown out the window, a passion was ignited in Tamara for the sense of community and friendship that ice cream can so easily produce. “It’s very powerful for me,” she explains. “It’s not just ice cream, it’s purpose.” She continued to honor this ritual every Sunday until her mom passed away, crystallizing within her with perfect clarity the bond between ice cream, family and community.