What else do you do with a rainy Friday but play hooky with your roommate and get gourmet ice cream on your espresso? Yep.
As of January 21st, Earnest Ice Cream is proud to announce its newest production sight-turned-scoop shop in the industrially trendy Olympic Village. Just up a block from the Steel Toad Brewery, the recently expanded business has acquired a hold of some hot property, where the company can continually make a product and contribute in local economy while selling ice cream cones to the salivating. The interior is decked out with exposed wood beams and brick, sleek white tiles, bold light fixtures and modern bar furniture for your convenience as you make a pit stop and enjoy your edible work of art, all the while peeking through the windows to the kitchen, where the magic happens.
From their reusable ice cream jars to the local and sustainable ingredients to the vegan options, Earnest’s founders Erica Bernardi and Ben Ernst have sealed their concept to the city of Vancouver as they intended. Sold in over 15 grocery stores across the city and featured in deadly desserts at restaurants like CRAFT Beer Market, the ice cream has excitedly become a regular on the foodie’s grocery list.
Back in the early days of the business the duo worked long hours, operating out of the Woodland Smokehouse & Commissary and selling their ice cream from a tricycle at Vancouver farmer’s markets and the “Food Truck Fest”. From the production and packaging, to the marketing, to the setting up and tearing down at these events, Ben and Erica did it all. Their drive is strong and their accomplishments even more so, and it is comforting to know that their vision was incubated in a shared space such as the Woodland Smokehouse (which unfortunately is not in operation anymore due to a fire), where there were like-minded entrepreneurs trying to cook up a better and more delicious Vancouver. Other hot, local eats such as Cartem’s Donuterie and Soho Road have greatly benefited a business take-off from this shared kitchen approach. It is undeniable that the pop-up and the temporary have proved to be an essential building block in how Vancouverites do local business. Amazing things start to happen when we look closer to home, rather than seeking for less quality, lower-priced ingredients outside of the source.
As for the Farmer’s Market culture, Ben opened up to me about the amazing opportunity it has been to work and thrive in the environment that he and Erica defend the most: small batches and local ingredient focus. Earnest has added a gourmet flair at the markets, and for the poor Vancouverite out there who has not tried sin on a cone, it’s an unforgettable treat. The next step looks like a food truck that they can offer more to their customers at the seasonal neighbourhood events, also with a great deal of added mobility they can serve their ice cream at the most remote of places (Wreck beach anyone?)
When I asked Ben about why he picked the Quebec street corner and what the rewarding impact on the neighbourhood would be like, he explained that it was partially luck as far as location went, but also how coincidentally wonderful it will be for the many new families in the area, as well as the (already) successful flavor collaboration with the other local companies nearby, like 33 Acres Brewery. Ben also commented on how great it has been collaborating with Matchstick Coffee, a specialty roastery that has trained up the Earnest team on coffee and espresso, and how to brew it/serve it their way, within the walls of the scoop shop. Finally, I asked Ben the impossible — what his favorite flavor was. I was unsuccessful at getting the one flavor in his heart, but if we go according to season, his favorite winter flavor is Dark Chocolate Peppermint, his favorite spring flavor would be Sprucebud (which is steeped flavor from baby Spruce tree tips), and his favorite summer flavor would be Fresh Raspberry.
After 6 months of searching for locations as far as South- West Marine Drive, Earnest can finally melt comfortably on 1829 Quebec St.
For more info on Earnest, check it out online here.
– Allison Hayes