Every year we so look forward to the anniversary day we sold out of ice cream or as it is now fondly known as-Sell Out Celebration. Had someone told us six years ago that we would one day celebrate the day we’d sold out of ice cream, we’d have thought they were crazy. Four days after opening our first Ample Hills shop on a beautiful Memorial Day weekend evening, we scooped our last scoop of ice cream. At the time it was truly terrifying. We had planned for failure, but never for such excitement and success. Owning a business, making and selling ice cream was all new to us. And it really was just us; Jackie & Brian and our two little kids ages two and four.
We worked tirelessly in the summer of 2011 to keep up with demand, determined not to close our doors. And we could never have done it that first summer and every summer thereafter without the boundless energy of our Amployees and the multitude of loyal and supportive customers. We recognize and truly appreciate the importance of our community who stuck with us and kept coming back. For that we are eternally grateful.
Long term loyal customer Russ and family
We celebrated Sell Out Celebration 2017 at our Prospect Heights shop with a full cabinet of 24 flavors. After each flavor sold out we drop the price of a small scoop until the last tubs are free. In years past Salted Crack Caramel was one of the top three flavors to sell out first. This was not the case this year. The first flavor to sell out was.... Ooey Gooey Butter Cake at 3:34 pm followed by PB Wins The Cup and Strawberries & Cream at 5:22. Salted Crack Caramel was a surprising 4th in our line up of falling flavors.
Happy Amployee Skye feeling celebratory with The Munchies
As the evening progressed the prices continued to drop. Some of the last flavors to fall were Oh Fudge, Vanilla and Mexican Hot Chocolate. At this point the entire shop broke into song. Everyone joined in singing Happy Birthday to Ample Hills. We’d given out samples, prizes and t-shirts and would soon give away ice cream. By 9:55 all subsequent flavors were FREE. We brought out a few more tubs of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Sweet Cream and Cookies, and Coffee Toffee Coffee that we scooped for the entirety of the line and until we closed at 11pm.
Jackie, Brian and son Kaleo
It was a beautiful celebratory day filled with friendly faces of the past, children we’d known as infants, and brand new ice cream lovers who’d never been to Ample Hills before. I spent much of the evening passing out samples of Ooey Gooey and brownie pieces to the line, reconnecting with long term customers, meeting new people from near and far and sharing our story with them when they looked confused about what was happening. Sell Out Celebration happens once a year. It allows us to take stock of what we created. It allows us to feel real pride that this idea of a corner community ice cream shop we’d once had in our heads is a real, living, happening destination. It’s a place where connections are made among friends and families and strangers. It’s this interconnectedness that Walt Whitman speaks of in “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” and it’s what Brian and I had wished to create.
What is it, then, between us?
What is the count of scores or hundreds of years between us?
Whatever it is, it avails not-distance avails not.
I too lived-Brooklyn, of Ample Hills, was mine..
Peace, Love & Happiness,
Jackie & Brian