She played the assistant to Meryl's Streep's Katharine Graham in "The Post" and Diane Keaton's daughter in "The First Wives Club." Now, actor Jennie Dundas has added two real-life roles to her resume: entrepreneur and ice cream maker.
The actor-turned-businesswoman is the co-founder of Blue Marble Ice cream, an organic ice cream company she started with friend and non-profit leader Alexis Gallivan.
Blue Marble operates its own ice cream plant in a historical complex in Industry City, Brooklyn, once the country's largest manufacturing and distribution hub. Today, it's home to plenty of local food producers and purveyors like Dundas.
Dundas is an unlikely entrepreneur. "I never had an interest in business, I never had an interest in entrepreneurship. I was in the arts," she told CBSN. But she saw a gap in the market — and an opportunity to make ice cream that both tasted good and was responsibly made.
A business neophyte when she started the company, Dundas said she made nearly every rookie mistake. In 2007, when she co-founded the company, her studio apartment doubled as its office and storage space.
She wore multiple hats — she remembers nursing her then-newborn son as an employee deposited the day's earnings in the company safe.
She and Gallivan stuck to their values, committing to environmental and economic sustainability by using fair-trade sugar and cocoa in their ice cream flavors, which include sea-salt caramel, green tea and pumpkin.
"Thankfully, we always got the product right, and that's the most important thing," Dundas said.
Scooping the "whole feeling"
In fact, creating the ice cream was the easy part. The nuts and bolts of running a business proved to be more of a challenge to the arts-oriented entrepreneur.
"We really learned that a lot of running an ice cream company is about logistics. You can't have any waste because if it's organic cream, it's double the price [of conventional dairy]," Dundas explained.
She approached running the business with a nothing-to-lose attitude. After all, she had her acting chops to fall back on.
"Most businesses fail anyway, so if we know it's a possibility we are going to fail, we have to fail with integrity."
Blue Marble has attracted a following — comedian Jimmy Kimmel is among its fans. Dundas suggests the product stands out not just for its taste, "but the whole feeling behind it."