Everyone’s favorite frozen treat got a little bit more love last week when residents of Fishtown and East Kensington voted unanimously in support of Little Baby’s Ice Cream, which presented a plan for a Frankford Avenue shop during a Jan. 17 meeting.
The session represented a combined zoning meeting of the Fishtown Neighbors Association and the East Kensington Neighbors Association.
To open their shop, tentatively set for May at 2311 Frankford Ave., Little Baby’s co-owners Pete Angevine and Martin Brown (along with co-owner Jeffrey Ziga, who was not in attendance that evening) must apply for a zoning variance.
Because of a zoning overlay, called the North Delaware Avenue Special District Controls, which impacts Frankford Avenue where the shop would do business, the owners need community support of the variance. The overlay doesn’t permit takeout food, such as handmade ice cream, in that area of Frankford Avenue.
The wners are having the building refurbished by the same South Philly architect who helped bring life back to South Street, Joel Spivak.
“South Street needed a lot of improvements, it was all abandoned, just like Frankford Avenue is now,” Spivak said. “It’s really great that this is happening.”
Spivak, of course, thinks the ice-cream business will be a boost to the neighborhood’s revival. “This will be a great business in the middle of a dead block … it’s amazing what’s going on,” he said.
The building will be handicapped-accessible as part of the work to restore its splendor. During last week’s meeting, residents shared no major issues, other than some concern whether production equipment would create noise audible outside the store.
The owners promised that noise would not be a problem.
Angevine and Brown, who said they were pleasantly surprised to earn the unanimous support of their venture, became partners after discovering that they were making ice cream from their homes.
ldquo;We started trying to come up with the crazy flavors that work — we wanted to see what was feasible,” Brown said.
“We like surprises,” Angevine added.
The pair officially launched their business last May at the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival. Angevine touts their product as “small-batch, handmade super-premium ice cream.”
Fishtown resident Nicki Monzo voted for approval of the ice cream parlor; she also made it known that her favorite ice cream treat consists of mint chocolate chip and a pretzel cone.
Little Baby’s exotic flavors go beyond somewhat traditional flavors like mint chocolate chip. Just the same, Monzo likes what she has heard about the business plan, suggesting it can mean only good things for the neighborhood.
ldquo;I think it’s a good idea. It’s not like ice cream will bring in the wrong crowd or anything,” said Monzo.
At the moment, she added, there aren’t many places in Fishtown to get ice cream.
With plans for flavors like Birch Beer Vanilla Bean, Spiced Chocolate, Coffee Toffee and Eggnog, the shop owners hope to use dairy products from Chambersburg. Their specialty treat currently is being sold at select markets and at some music concerts. But Angevine and Brown are expecting big things in the future.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream also will offer milkshakes, soda floats and ice cream sandwiches on cookies freshly baked in the store. They’ll be opening next to a new pizza shop; Angevine and Brown know the owners, they said, and the hope is that the two businesses will feed off each other and grow.
“We’re separate companies with a lot of synergy. We have a similar spirit,” Angevine said. ••