CFSBKers Jackie C. and Brian S. at the front desk with Greg. Read on to learn more about Jackie and Brian’s business! | Photo via Bond Street
Around Degraw: Ample Hills Creamery
Now that summer is over and nice, crisp walking-around weather has returned, we’d like to introduce a new feature on the CFSBK blog, Around Degraw! In this feature, we’ll be telling you about nearby small businesses we like. Looking for something to do after class that’s fun and within walking distance? Look no further! For our first installment, we talked Jackie C., a dedicated CFSBKer and part of the husband-and-wife team behind Ample Hills Creamery.
When and how did Ample Hills start?
We opened in the spring of 2011 with our first shop in Prospect Heights. We were prepared for failure but certainly not success, which was why we ended up having to close the shop after only being open for four days. We ran out of ice cream. We closed down and regrouped, hired more staff and made a lot more ice cream. We currently have two large brick and mortar shops in Brooklyn-our original shop on Vanderbilt and our shop in Gowanus where all our ice cream is being made. We have two seasonal kiosks: one on the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park and another at Riis Beach in The Rockaways. In addition we have two smaller outposts in Manhattan, at Gotham West Market in Hell’s Kitchen and the other is inside Bubby’s in The Meatpacking District.
We also sell our pints in about 30 grocery stores throughout New York City and we ship nationwide.
Your Gowanus location is really close to the gym! Can you tell us a little bit about what it’s been like to be part of the Gowanus small business community?
We were super excited to have found our corner shop in Gowanus and even more psyched when we realized the potential for a roof deck and outdoor seating. Over the last several decades we’d watched Gowanus grow from abandoned warehouses and shady nighttime vibes to funky new community oriented spots, four star restaurants and great evening entertainment. When we signed the lease for Gowanus a few years ago we found out that this 17k square foot shuffle board court was going in and that was amazing. We knew then that clearly we were in good company.
What are your plans for Ample Hill in the next few years?
We are working on opening a larger production space in Red Hook so that we can open more shops in and around New York, as that’s what excites us the most.
A unique feature of Ample hills is your rotating and eclectic ice cream flavors. What is your all-time favorite flavor you guys have created and what is currently available that you’d recommend?
Pistachio Squared is most definitely my all time favorite flavor. For the longest time I’d been asking my husband Brian to make Pistachio and he felt like it was too common. I argued that sometimes common is good. He finally gave in and decided to make it but had to AMPlify it by making Pistachio brittle hence the the name Pistachio Squared. Needless to say it blew me away and continues to do so every time I have a scoop. We also offer a shop specific flavor at each of our locations that somehow pay tribute the history or neighborhood of where they are. Our Gowanus site specific flavor is called “It Came From Gowanus.” It’s a dark deep salty chocolate with lots of mix-ins such as hazelnut crack cookies, orange scented brownies, and white chocolate pearls. he flavor is both a nod to Brian’s former life as a sci-fi writer and the notoriously polluted Gowanus canal.
Gowanus has really rebuilt itself over the past few years. Are there other businesses or things to do around the neighborhood that you’d recommend?
CROSSFIT!!! And then once you’re super fit I’d say go to Baba’s and eat some pierogis followed by a game of shuffle board at The Royal Palms and then if your still hungry and want to play then you should go to Insa for some karaoke followed by Threes for some great beer. And really, I could go on.
Thanks, Jackie! It’s impossible not to love an ice cream shop named after a Walt Whitman line. Do you have a favorite small business near the gym? Send leads to Josh [at] crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com.