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Brooklyn's Ample Hills Scores $4 Million in Investment to Start an Ice Cream Empire

The hit ice cream shop plans more locations, and an "interactive" production facility.

Ample Hills Gowanus
Ample Hills Gowanus
Daniel Krieger

Ample Hills, the wildly popular Brooklyn-based ice creamery named for a Walt Whitman line just raised $4 million for an expansion thanks to a friendly tech-investor neighbor. The money, Brooklyn Magazine reports, will go towards building new locations both in New York City and elsewhere, and to building a huge and somehow "interactive" production facility in Brooklyn. The production facility will also help the company to get its pints into more grocery stores all over.

Charlie O'Donnell, who runs his seed fund, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, out of a townhouse not far from Ample Hills' big Gowanus outpost, is the neighbor who led the fundraiser, but other investors include the founders of Seamless and Tom Potter, the co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery. The timeline for this mega expansion is unclear, but no matter what, it will be an enormous leap for the ice cream shop. Husband and wife Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna opened the original Ample Hills opened just over four years ago in Prospect Heights (to immediate frenzy), and expanded to Gowanus in summer of 2014. They're also working on an outpost in Brooklyn's monster upcoming food hall, DeKalb Market, but now all of a sudden their business is poised to be the next Ben & Jerry's, or at least the next Van Leeuwen.

As for that interactive production facility, O'Donnell explains to Brooklyn Magazine that Smith grew up near Disney World, and therefore believes that when you visit a place you should be able to "play in it." What that means for Ample Hills is unclear, but it sounds like it will involve making your own ice cream. Maybe with an ice cream-making bike like the one Ample Hills pulls out for birthday parties.

Ample Hills Creamery

1 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 874-2483 Visit Website

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