It's all about fresh, local, pure, and simple! Setting out to make the finest artisanal ice cream possible, Van Leeuwen uses three simple ingredients for their smooth custard base: dairy + pure cane sugar + fresh egg yolks. Everything is made with the most wholesome ingredients possible. Exceptional hormone-free dairy, direct from local framers in Lewis County, New York. Absolutely no stabilizers, preservatives or unnatural emulsifiers are used, nor can they be found in any of the ingredients used in the making of their ice cream.
Van Leeuwen ice cream is better recognized by Manhattanites as the light yellow ice cream truck seen parked on the Streets of New York City. The first yellow "Scoop" truck was launched in the Spring of 2008, by Ben Van Leeuwen, wife laura O'Neill, and Brother Pete Van Leeuwen: this was the beginning of what was to become a flourishing family-run business.
Today the Van Leeuwen's have three "scoop" trucks parked on the streets Monday through Friday, along with their original shop, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and will be opening their second location in Boreum Hill, Brooklyn at Smith and Bergen Streets. It is rumored that they are planning to open their first Manhattan location on East 7th Street in the summer 2011. You can also find Van Leeuwein ice cream by the scoop at Jack's Stir brew in Brooklyn, Espresso 77 in Jackson Heights, and Foragers Market out in Dumbo.
No doubt, the joyful jingle of the ice cream truck rolling down the street is a sweet, nostalgic memory for many. Family company Van Leeuwen revamps this classic melody by kicking quality up a notch and providing fresh, artisanal ice cream out of their trademark lemon-yellow trucks, parked alongside the sidewalks of NYC.
The company prides itself on creating ice cream the homemade way, despite doing so in a considerably larger kitchen. Three simple ingredients are used to create the Van Leeuwen ice cream’s smooth custard base: pure cane sugar, fresh egg yolks, and hormone-free dairy sourced from local farmers in upstate New York. Stabilizers, preservatives or unnatural emulsifiers, typically necessary additives for ice cream created on an industry-wide scale, are absent, freeing the Van Leeuwen ice cream to a dense creaminess that is all-natural.
Van Leeuwen offers flavors that range from the classic — vanilla, strawberry, pistachio — to the unique — ginger, giandujia, and red currant. For all flavors, the emphasis is on fresh, high-quality ingredients and a genuine homemade taste. Ground whole organic vanilla beans from Tahitian orchards in Papua, New Guinea; sun-sweetened red strawberries; brilliantly rich, green pistachios harvested by local farmers from the slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna. No effort is spared in the hunt for the highest possible elevation of each and every flavor.
The company’s thoughtful respect for the environment encompasses other materials in the delivery of their ice cream as well: all disposable goods are made from 100% renewable sources; cups and napkins are created from Bagasse, a fiber made from sugar cane husk; and all spoons and straws are fashioned out of corn husk.
Founder Ben Van Leeuwen received his spark of inspiration during his own personal stints driving ice cream trucks for past summer jobs — according to his story, the company was born out of a strong desire to deliver top-quality ice cream to the public. Wife Laura O’Neill and brother Pete Van Leeuwen eagerly jumped onboard, launching what was to become a flourishing family business.
The first yellow “Scoop” truck materialized along the NYC streets in the Spring of 2008, and within eight months, Whole Foods contacted Van Leeuwen to carry its ice cream line.
Today, Van Leeuwen has two shops in Brooklyn, and three trucks in various NYC locations, the coordinates of which are updated often on the company Twitter. The fine artisanal ice cream is also carried by various stores as listed on their website vanleeuwenicecream.com.