Originally from Colombia, Natalia O’Mara always dreamed of opening her own business in America.

The former certified fitness trainer explored options of opening a fitness studio but wanted to open a business where she could connect with her community, she said. She opened her first Jeremiah’s Italian Ice store as a franchisee in Melissa in May. That store is already in the top five performing stores in the brand, and her second store in Frisco opened in December.

“My American dream finally came true,” O’Mara said. “I always wanted to open my own business, but it’s a lot of work. It hasn’t been easy at all, but with my husband’s help, it came true.”

On a trip to Daytona Beach, Natalia was introduced to Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and decided it was something she had to bring back to Texas. She loved the product and its affordability.

“It’s something refreshingly different. Anyone looking for a cold treat any time of year will be welcome,” she said. “Anybody that’s interested in dessert, especially the dairy-free option, there’s nobody that has [exactly] what we have.”

The rotating menu features 24 flavors of Italian ice with most being dairy free, gluten free, nut free and vegan.

O’Mara has agreed to open 10 locations in North Texas in the next five years, hoping to open another location in February 2024. In addition to her stores, she said much of her business takes place in the heart of the community at schools, churches and fundraising events.

“We’ve really kind of fallen in love with the people in Melissa and Frisco, and just the community involvement is part of the appeal to Jeremiah’s as a brand and why we became franchisees,” O’Mara said.

She said on a busy summer weekend she is out in the community at two or three events a day. With every customer, she said she hopes to give them the best service possible.

“To the Frisco community: Good service is back, and we want to say our most sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us in Frisco,” she said. “It is important to us that people leave our store knowing that we appreciate them.”

Business information:

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, 8555 FM 423, Frisco.

945-249-8990. www.jeremiahsice.com.

Hours: Mon.-Sun. noon-10 p.m.