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Here's What The Big Gay Ice Cream Founders Have In Store For L.A.
Each time the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has rolled into Los Angeles, they've drawn throngs of stoked soft serve lovers eager to try their innovative yet playful flavors. Due to the success of their pop-ups (err, park-ups), founders Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff are building their first West Coast brick and mortar, set to open its doors in mid- to late-spring.
The soft serve shop will be located in the quickly up-and-coming Broadway District of Downtown L.A. We decided to check in to see what Quint has planned for the first West Coast installation of their popular soft serve shop.
LAist: We're pretty stoked you're playing for keeps this time. What made you decide on L.A. for your first West Coast location?
Doug Quint: When we did our ice cream truck here, we did really well, and the response to us coming for good has been really positive ... You can get mediocre frozen yogurt anywhere in L.A., but froyo and soft serve aren't the same.
What's the difference between the two?
Soft serve is actually the same recipe as ice cream, it's just frozen right when you're making it. You fill a soft serve machine with a liquid mix that's the same as the base for ice cream. Ice cream is usually made in 5 gallon batches, then goes into a really cold hardening freezer, and then turns it into a solid block. Soft serve is a very quick process, and it's frozen to only 20 degrees. That's one of the reasons we've been successful making our cones with all these toppings, because with the warmer temperature, you can taste it easier. If you put toppings like olive oil on cold ice cream you can't taste it as easily. That's one of the reasons why hard ice cream is flavored with so much sugar and sweet stuff.
Will there be any special L.A. flavors? Any other "only in L.A." items?
We're going to transfer most of the New York menu here, but we do have a special things in store. We have a lot of recipes that utilize fruit, but we don't serve them in New York because the availability is so seasonal. In SoCal you can get great fruit year round.
We're not changing to low fat or non fat, but we have a couple interesting ways that we're going to tweak the menu. We'll also do some milkshakes, ice pops, and some gluten-free cones.
Why did you pick the Broadway District of DTLA for your location? What makes that area exciting for you?
The guys from the Ace contacted us nearly two years ago and told us to come out. So we came and looked at possible spaces, but we weren't rushed because we didn't have as much faith as the Ace guys did. But when we came back six months ago we were convinced. Of any place in L.A., downtown is the place that feels most like New York City. I like the familiarity of having tall buildings around me. It's someplace where people might actually walk in L.A. It felt right. It felt a little bit funky and a little bit grungy.
What will the design of the shop be like? What are your visions for the space?
We have an architect named David Hertz who's working with us on the space. It's by far the biggest store, about double the size of the largest one in New York. We want to make it an L.A. store, we aren't interested in duplicating the NYC one. The vibe should be fun and interactive. We're looking at ways to teach people the menu without them having to look at the menu.
Sounds interesting. We'll be looking forward to Big Gay Ice Cream's soft serve later this spring.