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Van Leeuwen Brings Its First-Rate Ice Cream to the West Village, Plots Mega Expansion

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It's never too cold for ice cream.

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Weather be damned, this is a great week to be an ice cream fan in New York City. Brooklyn's wacky ice cream king Ample Hills opened its first Manhattan outpost yesterday. Now, Grub Street reports that artisan ice cream maker Van Leeuwen, which started as an ice cream truck in 2008 and now operates three shops, has opened its West Village outpost. The new location is offering the full lineup of Van Leeuwan's classic and vegan flavors, plus some interesting new options, like Sichuan peppercorn with cherry compote, cookies & cream, toasted coconut, a Persian-inspired orange blossom with shortbread pistachio, caramel curried nut, and milk chocolate with Marcona almonds. Like at the other shops across the East River, coffee comes from Toby's Estate, and there are some pastries too.

The team is also working on a 1,200-square-foot flagship shop that should open in March in Williamsburg at North 5th and Wythe, just around the corner from where Blue Bottle is moving to. Plus, to help make enough ice cream to supply all these shops (not to mention fill grocery store freezers with pints), the company is also moving into a larger production facility in Greenpoint. And that's just the start of the company's ambitious plans. A Van Leeuwen cookbook is due out in June, two shops are set to open in LA soon, and co-owner Laura O'Neill tells Grub Street, "It's only a matter of time before we expand to the rest of the country."

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