Yum! Ample Hills Creamery Cookbook is Here

 

Ample Hills Creamery Cookbook

Co-authors Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna included Ample Hills’ famous salt crack caramel recipe in the new cookbook, which can be yours for $25.00. (Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

YESTERDAY WAS PUBLICATION DAY for the new Ample Hills Creamery cookbook, and copies were stacked up on the counter at the popular premium ice cream store on the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Bergen Street, in Prospect Heights.

Proprietor Brian Smith, right,  was on hand in a front booth to inscribe copies. He confirmed to Brooklyn Artisan thatAmpleHillsBrianSmith the company’s new location in Gowanus is scheduled to open by late June. Ice cream will be made right on site as at the Prospect Heights location.

“Our business is more than an ice cream store, really,” Smith said. “It’s a neighborhood hangout.” The Prospect Heights store has a toddler play area, just visible over Smith’s shoulder.

The familiar Ample Hills ice cream carts will be back out in their locations near playgounds and parks this summer also. Smith co-founded the business with his wife and cookbook co-author,  Jackie Cuscuna.

 

 

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What’s Your Business Mantra? And When To Commit to It

“Ready, Aim, Fire” or “Done is Better Than Perfect”?
Business and career coach Bill Jones first appeared on motivational posters in the 1920s and 30s.

Here’s the conventional wisdom, but does it still apply? (Business and career coach Bill Jones first appeared on motivational posters in the 1920s and 30s.)

WHY DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT, says the Etsy Blog title for the June 20, 2013 entry by Alexandra Ferguson. And then the art shows a cute cushion with the message, Ready, Fire, Aim.  As the originator of “‘Done’ is better than ‘perfect'”  (explained in an addendum to an earlier post to this blog), I like to think that in today’s conditions these mottos make more sense than they did in Bill Jones’s day.

Ms. Ferguson observes that many businesses get stuck in “paralysis by analysis” rather than going forward. Her own story is a case example that encourages leaping from the daydream stage into production and selling – in her case, selling her handmade cushions on etsy.com. Her first offering of message pillows she’d already made cost $1.60 in listing fees, a very low capital requirement to enter a business! No lease. No significant inventory. No staff. No equipment beyond what she’d needed for gift-cushion making as a hobby. Her launch served as a market test — and a commitment test. Was this really a business she could stay in? DUMBO-based etsy.com made it not only cheap and easy to get her product to market, but the market itself is global.

Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea help other artisan-entrepreneurs test themselves in the food business by providing venues and some basic disciplines. The Brooklyn Botanic’s celebration of hot chiles is another. Ample Hills Creamery founder Brian Smith took his unusual ice cream flavors to market via ice cream trucks and kiosks before committing to that first lease in Prospect Heights. Brooklyn’s growing network of co-working spaces and commercial kitchens keep equipment and production space costs thinkably low. Share-and-learn facilities like 3rd Ward  in Williamsburg can graduate their biggest successes to Industry City in Sunset Park.

Brooklyn Artisan Executive Editor Basia Hellwig reports in “Start Ups Aren’t for Sissies” on some entrepreneurial thrills and chills. Her stories provide mental preparation. BA Executive Editor Joy Makon’s look inside Alchemy Creamery gives another window into what’s involved. BA Executive Editor Phil Scott and Contributor Bruce A. Campbell have reported on Brooklyn’s Makerbot, pioneer of 3D printers. There’s venture capital out there to back some winners.

Tomorrow, Brooklyn’s first food and drink trade show, Brooklyn Eats, presents a new opportunity. It is sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and a host of corporations like commercial Citibank, Fairway, Whole Foods, National Grid, Verizon, and Acumen Capital Partners LLC and Jamestown Properties, as well as the Daily News and Edible Brooklyn as media partners.

The bright line between artisan and entrepreneur shines when the Alexandra Fergusons and the Brian Smiths of the world realize they’re not just creating cute cushions or unique premium ice cream flavors, they’re creating businesses. Should they move beyond bootstrapping? How much bigger can small-batch get before small-batch loses its edge? Sounds like it’s time for a serious, stage-two business plan. That’s when a trade show like Brooklyn Eats or a presentation to a venture capital fund really starts to make sense. It’s only been a very few years since Makerbot stepped up, after all, and it’s now valued at $403 million. Who’s next?

Brooklyn Artisan Editor & Publisher Anne Mollegen Smith was editor-in-chief of Working Woman magazine when its circulation grew to 950,000.

The Best of Brooklyn is outdoors this weekend, April 20 & 21

“What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms,” Kobayashi Issa.
CherryWatch Blossom Status Map for those of you who really want to know what's in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, is updated every weekday during the season. (Photograph, taken on Thursday by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)

A cloudy Thursday at the Garden. (Photograph, Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool.)
CherryWatch Blossom Status Map is for those of us who really want to know what’s in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and is updated every weekday during the season.

content_borough_hall_skyscraper_croppedTake a Walk • Downtown Brooklyn Partnership recommends a self-guided Architectural Walking Tour that hits eleven gems from DUMBO to the Barclays Center. Two highlights: 1) near Borough Hall stop to admire the circa 1901 Beaux-Arts style Temple Bar Building; 2) at 365 Jay Street, view the Old Brooklyn Fire Headquarters, described by the NYC Landmarks Commission as one of the city’s best and most striking architectural compositions. With regular stops for snacks, drinks or lunch along the route, this can make an interesting day of discovery. Brooklyn Artisan suggests a start with Juliana’s in DUMBO, an iced coffee from Betty Bakery, and a pop into Ample Hills Creamery to end.

hotSauceExpoCapsaicin Alert • 1st annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo. With a claim that hot sauce production is one of the 10 fastest-growing industries in the U.S., the Hot Sauce Expo promises to have spicy food vendors, live music, fire breathers, eating challenges and contests and lots of tasting opps both local and beyond. Hot Sauce vendors include PuckerButt Pepper Company, Fort Mill, SC; NW Elixirs, Portland, OR; Evil Seed Sauce Company, Jacksonville, FL; lots more. East River State Park, Williamsburg. Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm.

Babydoll lambs with mom Ginger—how cute is this? (Photograph, Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)

How cute is this? At the Zoo, newborn Babydoll lambs pose with mom Ginger. (Photograph, Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)

Saturday
Business_Fair_2013

• If you need a reason to go to the park, the Prospect Park Fair, at the Bandshell could be it. Enjoy a great spring day and check out the activities and programs featuring a pop-up Audubon Center, tennis demonstrations, food trucks, and volunteering info. Specials from local businesses include The Great Googa Mooga, Brooklyn Cyclones, New York Guitar Academy, and several others. Sponsored by the Prospect Park Alliance. 11am-3pm.

• Before or after the Prospect Park Fair, you might want to stop by the Prospect Park Zoo and meet Kings County’s cutest duo, two babydoll lambs named Arthur and Brooklyn. Brother and sister, born in March to Ginger, may just unseat baby walrus Mitik as the sweetest faces in the borough.

wyckoff-garden• Maypoles, horse shoes, hydroponic gardens • Wyckoff Farmhouse, NYC’s oldest house, holds a Spring Fling: A Celebration of Spring’s Traditions. English country and contra dances led by renowned caller Tom Amesse, folklore tales by storyteller Robin Bady, carnival games, crafts, and more. Sustainable Flatbush (see Sunday, below) will demonstrate the solar hydroponic garden system being installed on premises, while the the house itself will also be on tour. Flatbush. 1pm-6pm.

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On Church Avenue: Magpies poptarts won’t ruin anyone’s appetite.

Sunday

Meet the neighbors • While shopping at the Church Avenue Street Fair, grab a bite at the Pop-Up Picnic Plaza that includes $1 specials from neighborhood eateries Lark, Am-thai, Shayna’s and more. Belly dancing demos, on-site animal adoptions, a children’s concert, make-up and hair styling discounts, and Magpies homemade poptarts are all part of the fun. Prospect Park South. 12pm-6pm.

sustFlatFor a greener thumb • Grassroots organization Sustainable Flatbush and community-owned Flatbush Food Coop have paired up to sponsor a Spring Plant Swap. Trade perennials and other plants, meet and learn from other gardeners, get help starting your garden. At the Flatbush Food Coop, Ditmas Park. 12pm-3pm.

Earth Day at Brooklyn’s largest park • The Brooklyn Dance Ensemble performs Earth Dances at the Salt Marsh Nature Center. As a perfect backdrop to today’s celebration, these 530 acres of grassland and salt marsh are considered a birdwatcher’s paradise. In NYC, the Salt Marsh Nature Center is protected as a Forever Wild Preserve. In addition to the dance performance, Roman “Red Hawk” Perez will perform Native American drumming and narratives. Marine Park. 2pm.

Familiar turf • Zip through the borough courtesy of the Brooklyn Brewery Mash:

2todoNOTEJoy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekly Best of Brooklyn lists. Send items for listings to brooklynartisan@joymakondesign.com

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