Little Baby’s Ice Cream is bringing a bit of the avant garde to Frankford Avenue with a new space that looks like it was imagined by Willy Wonka or Pee-wee Herman.
Visitors to the new shop will get a taste of whimsy along with the company’s unique ice cream flavors like Earl Gray Sriracha, Chipotle Chocolate, Balsamic Banana or Bourbon Vanilla.
Though it officially launched during last year’s Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and Kensington Kinetic Derby, on Friday Little Baby’s opened a new headquarters at 2311 Frankford Ave.
Since the launch of the company, the three co-owners, Pete Angevine of East Kensington, Jeff Ziga and Martin Brown, have become something of media darlings.
They’ve appeared on the cover of last week’s Philadelphia Weekly and all over the internet, thanks in part to Little Baby’s commercial: it features a man made of ice cream who slowly eats his own head as he stares - almost unnervingly - at the viewer.
Hey, we said avant garde.
The ad, which has been called “creepy” and “nightmare-inducing” online, was creating by Doug Garth Williams, a college friend of Angevine.
In the past year, Little Baby’s treats have been sold from modified freezers on tricycles at places like Love Park, Union Transfer and Morgan’s Pier.
Angevine said the owners embrace all things unusual and are pushing hard to bring their ice cream creations to all of Philadelphia.
“Hey, we’re hustling,” said Angevine in the new shop. “We’re really trying to keep it going…to keep Philadelphia weird, you know?”
And weird is a motif inherent in Little Baby’s new headquarters.
With long zig-zag colors and large, blocky shapes decorating the walls on all sides, Angevine said “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” was indeed in mind when he and the other owners imagined the shop.
Angevine said Jason Hsu, a local artist, helped design the space.
All three owners also have backgrounds in music, and Angevine said they’ve sat down and reworked typical “ice cream truck jingles” into something all their own.
Using a computer program that randomly generates notes and looped calliope music, Little Baby’s Ice Cream has created its own brand of ice cream jingle.
“We just call it ‘music for ice cream,’” said Angevine. “It never repeats and it never ends.”
Visitors to Little Baby’s Ice Cream will even have a chance to play with some of this music, as the owners have installed a makeshift shower that changes the pitch and tempo of the music when patrons turn the handles.
All of Little Baby’s personality and unique features don’t come easy, though. The owners said they’ve been working long days and nights throughout the summer to prepare for last week’s opening.
“It’s been a lot of work, but we make a product we stand behind,” said Ziga, noting that the owners use locally sourced ingredients in the ice cream as much as possible.
Angevine said he and the other owners are excited about the future of ice cream.
“It’s been very hard to get here,” he continued. “But we are looking forward to being here.”
Asked just why the owners were so excited to bring Little Baby’s to Fishtown on Frankford Avenue, the men smiled.
“This is where we live,” said Angevine. “ We are just really excited about it.”
Star Staff Reporter Hayden Mitman can be contacted at 215-354-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.