It's been another eventful year at Ample Hills!
We've opened two shops: our second in Manhattan within Bubby's High Line and our first outside of NYC in Disney World! We've made over 1,500 ice cream cakes. We've pasteurized almost 15,000 gallons of milk & cream onsite at our Gowanus shop. We've baked over 7,000 trays of ooey gooey butter cake. We've hosted over 300 birthday parties and given over 300,000 samples. We are so grateful for the continued love, support and patience as we grow. We've got big plans for 2017, but before we tell you about what's in store, we'd like to take a look back at some of our favorite moments, flavors and mix-ins from the past year.
Best TV Show flavor: They Scoop Gilmores, Don’t They?
There’s really no contest here. Our Gilmore Girls ice cream was our most popular flavor of the year. Second only to Star Wars, the fan fervor was truly spectacular. We asked our fellow Dragonflies and Gillies to help us create and name a flavor befitting of the Netflix Revival. After combing through the thousands of suggestions, the winning flavor was full of puns that Amy Sherman-Palladino would be proud of: They Scoop Gilmores, Don’t They? a coffee chocolate pudding ice cream with snickerdoodles and pink sprinkles-- while supplies last!
Best collaboration: Beer For Beasts
We had a lot of delicious collaborations this year: Tribeca Film Festival, CBS This Morning, Mike’s Hot Honey, Roald Dahl, Maple, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, The Matzoh Project-- just to name a few. But our favorite collab benefited our four-legged friends. Sixpoint Brewery undertook an epic charity project called Beer For Beasts. They partnered with dozens of local businesses to produce an unfathomable amount of small-batch, limited-edition beers. We worked with Kier Hamilton of Sixpoint to brew a beer inspired by our Mexican Hot Chocolate ice cream. The beer was served scoop-side at the besotted fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society.
Best Mix-In: Madam President cookies
We haven’t quite recovered from the election, but despite our devastation over the results-- we had a lot of fun making our Election Flavors (and donating a portion of the proceeds to Michelle Obama’s initiative, Let Girls Learn). Included in our Madam President flavor was an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie made using Hillary Clinton’s own family recipe. These chewy cookies were the perfect compliment to the spicy chocolate base and a staff favorite. The cookie recipe has a complicated history, but Hillary Clinton’s infamous cookie quote saw an unexpected resurgence this fall-- in our shops and alongside Beyonce.
Best New Flavor: TIE! All Puffed Up and
Mr. Fox’s Scrumdiddlyumptious Crunchy Cider Caramel Cream
We seriously couldn’t decide on a favorite so we’re picking two.
This summer we worked with the food-delivery superstars at Maple to design an exclusive Maple flavor. After weeks of brainstorming, recipe-tasting and designing-- we unveiled a flavor that perfectly melded our two brands. All Puffed Up is a marshmallow ice cream with crunchy caramel cookies and maple cookie dough. Pints are only available through Maple.
In September, we joined an amazing line-up of Dahlicious partners to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday! We made an ice cream
to celebrate that was inspired by Fantastic Mr. Fox. A sweet cream ice cream with apple cider caramel swirls and housemade molasses ginger cookies. It was quite the mouthful! The celebration culminated with a birthday party that had crafts, author readings and Roald Dahl-themed sundae bar (complete with snozzcumbers)!
Best Sorbet: Diamond Fizz
In April we made a champagne raspberry sorbet with ginger and lemon called Diamond Fizz. Like most champagne sorbets we make, it didn’t last long, but if you were lucky enough to get a taste of this flavor-- we’re sure you’ll agree with this ranking.
Best Sign: Ice Cream Flowchart
This past May we opened our Disney location-- the first outside New York City! Despite the proximity and tropical climate, we worked hard to make sure it still felt like an Ample Hills-- complete with Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Peppermint Pattie, and of course, our chubby mascots. This year’s Best Sign is south of the Mason Dixon!
Best Reason To Go Borough Hopping: Tour de Hills
To celebrate #NationalIceCreamDay this July we launched a summertime challenge-- the Tour de Hills-- visit all six NYC Ample Hills locations before Labor Day and the sixth scoop is on us. We added a second tier challenge-- visit all Ample Hills shops in one day and join the illustrious Hillionaires Club! In addition to the scoop, you get a shirt, cookbook and the honor of joining this esteemed group of ice cream lovers. We could not believe the dozens of Ample Hills fans that ventured across the boroughs in a 24 hour period to complete this challenge!
I Wait All Year For: The Sell-Out Celebration
When we first opened in 2011, we sold out of all our ice cream in just four days. But due to the overwhelming support and love from the community, we haven’t closed our doors since. Every year to celebrate these humble beginnings we sell out again, but this time we do it intentionally! We start the day fully stocked and as each flavor sells out, the prices decreases until it’s free! It’s a crazy and eventful day! If you haven’t been by our Vanderbilt shop for a Sell-Out Celebration yet-- it’s worth the trip.
Best Float: Cherry Lime Riickey and Rosé at Jacob Riis
Our Queens outpost has the added benefit of being a few yards from the beach, neighbors with some pretty delicious establishments, and a stone’s throw from the beach bar. Our Riis-exclusive flavor, Cherry Lime Riickey paired with rosé makes for the perfect summertime float!
Best Rivalry: PB 4 Prez and Breakfast Trash
We host our own March Madness-style bracket every spring where retired ice cream flavors compete for a chance to return to the dipping cabinet. This past March the returning champ, Peanut Butter 4 President went head-to-head against much beloved Breakfast Trash: Frooty Edition in our Flavor Frenzy. PB 4 Prez is a peanut butter cream cheese ice cream with chocolate peanut butter ooey gooey butter cake pieces. And Breakfast Trash: Frooty Edition is a cereal-infused ice cream with clusters of Froot Loops and Fruity Pebbles. The two flavors were churned and returned to the menu for one week to square-off scoop vs. scoop. The rivalry divided co-workers, split families and got pretty heated. In the end, Peanut Butter 4 President emerged (for the second year in a row) as the fan favorite. Who win take the title next year?
Halley's Comet Award: Whiffenpoofs
To coincide with the launch of our Gilmore Girls ice cream, we made a small batch of twinkies from scratch. Our Kitchen Supervisor, Holly, worked for weeks perfecting a sponge cake recipe, testing different creme fillings and she arrived as the most scrumptious cakes we have ever tasted! We revealed our creation-- the Whiffenpoof
-- and immediately sold out of our short supply. Not sure what event would usher in their reprisal, but we sure hope it’s not just a once in a lifetime treat! Thank you for joining us for another year of Ample Hills creations. We've got big plans for 2017! Stay tuned.