Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream is made with care, high-quality ingredients, and transparency by a New York dairy processor. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, based in Brooklyn, New York, says that when making artisan ice cream, flavors, transparency, and authenticity are important.
The company makes dairy-free and vegan ice cream for scoop shops, food trucks, and retail customers. The company asserts that it produces the “absolute best vegan ice cream,” as this editor can attest. That assertion is supported by its flavor and devoted clientele.
In 2008, Owners and co-founders
Ben and Peter Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill opened just one ice cream truck in New York City. Since then, the business has steadily expanded. The company set out to make ice cream using only the best ingredients and without stabilizers.
The company sells ice cream from four ice cream trucks and five shops in New York, and from three shops and two trucks in Los Angeles. Its 14-ounce retail cup line is available at Whole Foods in New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York, as well as other local stores like Dean and DeLuca and Gourmet Garage. Learn more about the company’s background and story.
All of the ice creams are made in a renovated 5,000-square-foot facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The plant went online in January 2016. An 800-square-foot kitchen was used to make ice cream in another Greenpoint location.
At Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, 17 people work in the office and in the production department. There are approximately 150 people working for the company, some of whom are seasonal, including the shops. During the winter, there is a 30% staffing reduction in each shop.
The business has added a new?
to the new facility, larger equipment. Most of them were purchased secondhand. A 200-gallon vat pasteurizer was installed in place of the 12-gallon model. Van Leeuwen added a semi-automatic pint filler; The pints were previously filled manually. Since moving into the new facility, the business has increased daily ice cream production from 200 to 500 gallons.
At the time of Dairy Foods’ visit, it was working on updating additional pieces of equipment. The business purchased a refurbished continuous freezer with a fruit feeder and rotary filler that will fill and cover all of the points automatically. At the moment, the business is still making use of its batch freezer. It is anticipated that the switch to all new equipment will be completed and operational by the end of the year.
In addition, all retail packaging was recently updated to better convey the brand’s message. The new design maintains its simplicity while remaining more cohesive. Each dairy flavor has a distinctive cup color and black lettering, while all vegan flavors have white cups with colored lettering.
The objective of the update is to increase the product’s visibility on retail shelves. O’Neill claims that the new design is “not so noisy,” but it still includes information about the company’s history and ingredients, which is essential for transparency and the intended message.
With the new packaging, the company added 10 new flavors to its 27 flavors. The new flavors are all based on flavors that are selling well in the company’s ice cream shops.
The vegan version makes use of organic cashew milk
organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, and organic carob bean. All of Van Leeuwen’s grass-fed milk is supplied by Battenkill Valley Farms in upstate New York. In Pennsylvania and upstate New York, a variety of sources are used to make the cream. The milk is delivered twice a week in 5-gallon polybags and stored in a 500-square-foot walk-in refrigerator.
A batch of dairy-based vanilla is made by the company by pasteurizing milk, cream, organic sugared egg yolks, milk powder, and cane sugar in a 200-gallon vat for 33 minutes. After that, it is pumped to the homogenizer, where it is chilled and aged in the heat exchanger. It is then pumped into the refrigerator’s holding tanks, where it is aged for 24 hours. The mixture will then be manually put into tubs and poured into the batch freezer.
Only the best ingredients are used in the bakery’s
Inclusions, sauces, and add-ins. Ingredients are manufactured on a rotating basis based on inventory and stored in large plastic tubs on metal shelves. On the tub labels, the name and the production date are written. When Dairy Foods came, the company was making vegan meringue and honeycomb for the honeycomb ice cream.
The company’s focus was always on finding the best ingredients from the beginning. O’Neill claims that it developed into the “driving force” of the company’s vision for its ice cream. A company’s commitment to its ice cream base must match the story of the company and the quality of the ingredients. She stated that this developed into a sort of “obsession” for them.
A chocolate manufacturer located in Normandy, France, supplies the company with its melting chocolate. Chocolate, including chocolate chips, comes from domestic sources. Van Leeuwen stated that the company values the fact that none of its chocolate suppliers use soy lecithin in their products.
Only Sicilian pistachios are used in the production of pistachio ice cream. Fruit can be obtained from a variety of sources. The frozen strawberry puree is available from France. All of Oregon’s berries, including blueberries, marionberries, and boysenberries, are produced on a farm. The cashews come from Africa, the coconut cream comes from Indonesia, the coconut oil comes from the Philippines, and the cocoa butter comes from Ecuador.
Safety and Operations
On the day we visited, owners were being dragged around the plant. For instance, the company received an unannounced visit from the New York Department of Agriculture (DOA) twice per month. The DOA inspects equipment and collects samples for testing and various plant components. Although there is no on-site laboratory, the company is working to establish internal testing.
We’re still growing, and in a sort of unique way for a business like us.” He stated, “We are still growing.” Consequently, we wear many hats. Fires and moving parts must always be put out.
The company conducts its own taste and visual inspections of the product throughout the day. Everyone who helped make the ice cream will taste it. We constantly sample our product to make sure it has the right amount of ingredients.
Van Leeuwen claims that all employees participate in high-level safety workshops. such as the three-day Dairy Extension workshop at Cornell University and the certification and workshop for the Food Safety Modernization Act. Additionally, the company holds weekly meetings to ensure that everyone is aware of what needs to be done and to simplify team communication from top to bottom.
The Final Words
Being good stewards of the land Because sustainability is so important to the company, it always looks for ways to be more environmentally friendly. LED lighting is used in its stores and factories. Additionally, the straws, napkins, ice cream cups, and napkins. It sells products made of biodegradable materials in its stores.
One goal is to be able to sell its ice cream online and ship it across the country. However, Styrofoam’s impact on the environment is cause for concern. As a result, they are working on a method right now. The Styrofoam boxes are recyclable and can be returned to the business for free shipping.