The name of this company is rather self-explanatory. In 2009, two gay New Yorkers, Doug Quint and Brian Petroff, rented a truck, which they dubbed the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, and began selling their wares at Brooklyn Pride in Prospect Park. Combining traditional soft-serve ice cream with non-traditional toppings, such as wasabi pea dust, olive oil and sea salt, the truck quickly gained a devoted following throughout New York.
After two years of selling their frozen confections out of the truck, the two entrepreneurs opened their first Big Gay Ice Cream store in the East Village. Now they have a second store in the West Village, with a total of about 30 employees, and they will soon be opening a third location location in Los Angeles.
The brand’s fan base continues to expand, and the Daily Beast and USA Today ranked it the best ice cream parlor business in the U.S. last year.
And they’re not finished. According to the company’s website: “Big Gay Ice Cream changed the game of soft-serve in March 2013 when they replaced their original ice cream and launched an all new proprietary ice cream developed in collaboration with Ronnybrook Farm Dairy. Their new soft-serve has been called ‘awesome’ by the press and places Big Gay Ice Cream as one of ‘New York’s ice cream powerhouses–not only for what they do with ice cream, but for the ice cream itself.’”
And as for their provocative name? “We made a decision to not be hyper-political about our name and to let it do its own thing for us,” Quint told CNN Money last month, “and we didn’t want to tell people too much. We preferred that people make assumptions and in doing so it really created an army of people who were believers in the brand.”
Quint and Petroff also carefully developed their Facebook and Twitter presence, taking time to interact with fans and potential customers. “People liked that we had an online personality,” Quint told Business Insider.
Just another example of how creativity, innovation and marketing savvy can turn a tiny start-up into a big business success.
Want to try the ice cream that’s getting all the press? Check them out at one of their 2 NYC locations & follow them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to get all of the best Big Gay Ice Cream updates (& mouth-watering images of their unique sweet treats!)
125 East 7th Street between 1st Avenue & Avenue A
61 Grove Street @7th Ave South