Earnest Ice Cream has steadily been making a name for itself as one of Vancouver’s finest local ice cream producers. They’ve grown from being small-scale manufacturers, delivering jarred artisan ice cream on bicycles, to an established business, with a bustling bricks-and-mortar shop and café on the city’s east side. I recently interviewed Erica Bernardi and got the inside scoop on Earnest Ice Cream.
How was Earnest Ice Cream born?
Earnest Ice Cream was started by two friends: Ben Ernst and myself, Erica Bernardi.
We were both at a time in our lives where we were considering a career change, both serious ice cream fans, both noticing a lack of premium, locally made ice cream in Vancouver. So we started playing around with recipes and working on a business plan.
What’s been your greatest challenge so far?
Overcoming hurdles with a new business that does things a little differently, such as using glass jars for packaging and selling ice cream from a bike.
How have Vancouverites responded to your products?
The response has been incredible. Better than we could have ever imagined.
Which flavours are your most popular?
Salted Caramel and Whiskey Hazelnut are our most popular core flavours. London Fog is a new favourite from our recent lineup. Otherwise, we have many rotating and seasonal flavours so it’s hard to say!
Yum! Where do you look for inspiration?
Food that is grown, produced and available locally. Seasonal foods. Other cuisines. Collaborations with some other amazing local producers. Favourite dishes. A bit of everything, really.
What’s the most interesting flavour you’ve ever put out, and is it still on the shelves?
We’ve done quite a few, some perhaps more adventerous then others; Blue Cheese & Fig, Smoked Peach and Almond. Both were quite popular but were limited batches.
We’ve also made Spruce Tip which is a very limited seasonal flavour (and Ben’s all time favourite). They need to be harvested at the right time and it’s a very short window.
Sounds epic. Your personal favourite flavour(s)?
Well, Ben’s is Spruce Tip. My go-to is Whiskey Hazelnut. But there are so many delicious seasonal flavours. Lately Rocky Road and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough have been the favourites.
Advice you’d wished you’d received prior to starting your own business?
To try to get more sleep.
Earnest Ice Cream is located at 3992 Fraser Street.
– Alexandra Sehmer