What makes Ample Hills Creamery such a special place to work isn’t just that I get to talk about ice cream all day (although that is a dream come true). It’s knowing our goal is just to create something that will make people happy—pure and simple. Ample Hills is dedicated to making the world a happier place, and that doesn’t stop at ice cream. We have made a habit of partnering with charities fiercely fighting for a better, safer world. To celebrate Pride, we partnered with Brooklyn Pride all June long to make a difference in our community.
Every June, Ample Hills Creamery celebrates Pride by scooping a flavor with love in every bite. Baby, I Was Churned This Way! is a salty hazelnut ice cream studded with chocolate-covered rainbow-colored sunflower seeds. For every pre-packed pint purchased all month long, across all locations, we donated $1 to Brooklyn Pride. We also released limited-edition Baby, I Was Churned This Way! tank tops and donated $1 from every sale to Brooklyn Pride too. We also hosted Pints & Postcards to benefit Brooklyn Pride.
For those unfamiliar, Pints & Postcards is a postcard writing and crafting gathering hosted by Ample Hills to help a hardworking organization that’s making a positive impact (in a bleak time). Each Pints & Postcards features a pay-what-you-wish sundae bar (where 100% of the proceeds are donated) and usually a postcard-making station...but this month, we traded that for a sticky notes station! Everyone wrote down their answers to the question, “What does Pride mean to you?” By the end of the evening, we had assembled these incredible insights into an empowering collage.
Our founder Jackie Cuscuna got emotional while introducing our hosts for the evening, Jamie Farnam and Mickey Heller from Brooklyn Pride. She said that before she even opened an ice cream shop, her dream had always been to be able to create a safe space for people to come together, get to know each other and have a nice time...and now, thanks to the success of Ample Hills, she finally has that ability. Jackie said this outpouring of people—gathering, mingling and making new friends—was truly “heartwarming.”
When Jamie and Mickey took the floor to discuss the enduring importance of Pride, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. There is still so much to do to protect the LGBTQ+ community. Jamie energized the room with a call to action: we must continue to fight for the youth, for our trans brothers and sisters, and for those who don’t identify with the binary—we need to fight for equality for everyone.
They talked about how Pride is just as necessary as it has ever been. Pride shows everyone that they can celebrate who they are. As Mickey and Jamie put it with moving simplicity, “Every pride is somebody’s first pride.”
Mickey, who described himself as working with Brooklyn Pride for “over ten years and earned every grey hair in his beard,” spoke about how being able to be gay publically, casually, is itself a huge victory. Remembering where we’ve come from, his heart swells just seeing a same sex couple walking down the street. Brooklyn Pride’s theme for this year is “Don’t Hide Your Pride.”
And we didn’t! Ample Hills marched in Brooklyn Pride, passing out heart stickers and smiles. I loved the experience; we saw so many incredible local LGBTQ+ organizations that I’d never of, like The Lesbian Herstory Archives! To see all these unapologetically gay organizations had been all around me without me knowing was just, such a thrill. These are small, tight knit local groups to get involved with...to form a community with. The march began with a moment of silence to honor the members of the LGBTQ+ community who came before us. It was a wildly powerful moment that united all of us. Mickey always says, Brooklyn Pride is the only Pride that starts on time (and we did).
By the end of the month, we had raised over $300 dollars for Brooklyn Pride, so they can continue to organize LGBTQ+ events all year long! Brooklyn has supported us from the beginning, and this is just one way we can give back. Even as we open new scoop shops, we strive to be mindful about how we are contributing locally to every community we join! We believe in loving who you love and who you are, and are doing what we can to fight for those ideals. This unwavering commitment to use our position as positively as possible makes me proud to be an Amployee.
There is no better way to end this article than by quoting (or well, paraphrasing) Mickey’s ending for his speech at Pints & Postcards. Things are scary right now in America. But if you light a candle in pitch black room, that light is so strong, it illuminates everything. And everyone as a light inside of them. In these dark times, that’s when our light shines the brightest. So let your light shine.