Producer: Monica Rogozinski
Move over chocolate and vanilla—learn about Philadelphia’s flourishing and unique ice cream scene, and the creative artists behind the frozen treats’ genius.
In the summer of 2011, three former musicians Maura, Jeffrey, and Pete Angevine decided to make and sell their very own homemade ice cream via tricycle—despite their lack of a culinary background. After a year of expanding to more tricycles, they opened their first shop—“Little Baby’s”, located in East Kensington of Philadelphia. The absence of experience didn’t serve as an obstacle but rather functioned as a vision without barriers, as the trio focused on creating bizarre, exciting flavors unknown to the frozen dairy world. From stranger savory flavors like Everything Bagel and Earl Grey Sriracha, to sweeter sensations like Bourbon Bourbon Vanilla—their palate creativity has no limit. Their ice cream inventions may sound unconventional, but so does the likelihood of three musicians successfully making and selling their own ice cream.
Jeanne Chang is the founder of “Lil Pop Shop,” a Popsicle shop in West Philly and Rittenhouse Square. Originally from Southern California and trained as a pastry chef, Chang wanted to bring to Philadelphia a treat that embodied both of her nostalgic feelings about summertime and her west coast home. Varying from creamy pops to non-dairy, Lil Pop Shop has found great success in mimicking a childhood favorite treat without using dyes and preservatives. Chang only uses local produce, making all her pops and add-ins in house. While not as odd as Little Baby’s, their carefully crafted artisanal flavors are definitely far from your neighborhood ice cream truck, from Chocolate with Salted Caramel Brownies, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, and Coconut Hibiscus—Lil Pop Shop has hit the sweet spot in popsicle imagination.
After watching a video online of a Thai street vendor rolling ice cream on a cold plate, Kyle Billig came up with a brilliant idea. Founder of “Sweet Charlie’s”, Kyle and his brother Jacob took advantage of the absence of Thai rolled ice cream in the Philadelphia area, and began making their own. Still in college, the brother’s ice cream innovation had instant success, and since its opening in 2015 on Walnut Street in Philadelphia, 8 more franchises will have opened up by the end of summer 2017. Sweet Charlie’s is unlike any other ice cream shop, in that they’re selling much more than a tasty dairy desert—they’re selling a show. After ordering, customers can watch their treat be made from start to finish. Sweet Charlie’s uses cream, yogurt, and a vegan option as a base, and crushes up and blends in a variety of toppings—a creative delicacy that is as fun to watch being made as it is to eat.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
The founder of Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Pete Angevine, explains how food experimentation lead to the bizarre yet tasty flavors that makes Little Baby’s so unique. Don’t worry, if “Everything Bagel” and “Pizza” are too adventurous for your palate, try something more normal like “Plain”. Additionally, Karen Johnson demonstrates how to make “Birch Beer Vanilla Bean”– a minty root beer flavor with an intriguing bubble gum color.