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Popular Ice Cream Chain Ample Hills Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

It’s not related to measures around the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shops are staying open for takeout

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Person holds out an ice cream cone
Ample Hills’s location at the Market Line, a food hall at Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Popular ice cream chainlet Ample Hills has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to the Real Deal. The creamery will remain open for takeout at all current New York City locations “at this time,” while navigating through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a spokesperson confirms to Eater.

The decision to file for bankruptcy was made before the city shut down all restaurants and bars in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the spokesperson tells Eater, and the bankruptcy — officially filed on Sunday, March 15 — is unrelated to the pandemic. The company, which has 14 locations across New York City, cited extreme delays in the opening of its 15,000-square-foot Red Hook factory, museum, and store as particularly detrimental to the business, according to the bankruptcy court filing.

“Because the factory delays impacted Ample Hills’s expansion strategy, the factory has not been as fully utilized as Ample Hills originally planned, which has led to continuing operating losses,” the filing states.

Co-owners and married couple Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna launched Ample Hills as an ice cream pushcart in 2010, and they’ve since grown the company into a chain with a highly visible presence across the New York City area, as well as two locations in Florida and a short-lived shop in Los Angeles.

The creamery is known for its in-demand, playful flavors like Fluffernutter Fudge and “I Contain Breakfast Foods!” that regularly sell out — the company’s first location in Prospect Heights, launched in 2011, had to shut four days after it opened due to overwhelming demand.

The bankruptcy allows the company “to restructure and refocus” as it moves forward, according to the spokesperson.

Ample Hills Factory

421 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Visit Website

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