For the ice cream world, winter is often seen as a dead time and when shops close their doors for the season. East Kensington’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream shop cofounder Jeffrey Ziga would like it to be known that the winter is not a time to slow down production but actually the best time to relish it.
“Enjoying ice cream on a summer day is a go-to, but it will melt,” Ziga said. “In winter, you eat ice cream at your pace. Nothing is going to melt it and you can walk around all day with ice cream. Winter is ice cream’s natural habitat.”
Little Baby’s Ice Cream, located at 2311 Frankford Ave., started out as a mobile tricycle stand by three ice cream enthusiasts-Ziga, Pete Angevine and Martin Brown.
After increasing interest and lack of space to create the ice cream, a shop was purchased adjacent to the pizza museum, Pizza Brain, and the beginning of the franchise was born.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream offers many dairy-free and vegan alternatives, including unique flavors like Smoked Cinnamon, Pizza and Coffee Toffee.
“We make things that were interesting to us and they were interesting to other people,” Ziga said. “We’re not just trying to please ourselves, but that’s where it comes from.”
“It’s like that feeling when you were little and you mixed a bunch of different cereals together to try new things,” he added.
The shop’s doors opened in August to mostly positive reactions. Ziga said that the ice cream is made of local produce and dairy, and residents often came in expecting cheaper prices.
“If you’re looking for a neighborhood alternative with reasonably priced ice cream we are not it,” he said. “We had to explain what we do and that the prices are because of what we make the ice cream with. We can’t please everybody, but we do what we like to do, which is the absolute best.”
Although Ziga said that Kensington is not the first place many would put an ice cream shop, he said it offered a cheaper retail space and a unique community atmosphere. Two of the cofounders also lived in a close proximity to the location.
“A new younger class of professionals and families are moving in, so there’s a renewed interest in a younger demographic,” he said. “We didn’t start that but I guess we are playing into it.”
Ziga said the store often brings customers in from other parts of the city, when they would not have come otherwise.
Returning customer Lou Caltabiano said he came from South Philadelphia to experience the variety of Little Baby’s Ice Cream, as opposed to going to another location.
“I don’t know of a lot of locations that have this much variety of vegan options,” Caltabiano said. “In other locations there are one to two options and that’s it. [Little Baby’s] has a whole menu of options.”
Ziga has many plans for the future. He joked that he would like to send ice cream to the moon and scoop ice cream for the president, but he said he also hopes to expand and sell the ice cream at more retail locations.
“We like to keep it interesting,” he said.