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Ample Hills founders lease space for new ice cream concept in Brooklyn

The founders of cult favorite ice-cream brand Ample Hills are launching a new venture at a new space in Brooklyn.

Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith, founders of the beloved ice cream shop that rocketed to the national stage with flavors like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace, will open the Social, an ice cream shop, production space and community gathering spot at 816 Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights.

Peter Schubert, managing director of commercial leasing at TerraCRG, exclusively represented the couple in the lease of the 2,700 s/f space will be home to the Social, which takes its inspiration from the traditional ice cream social and will host parties, classes, and once-monthly events that churn a one-of-a-kind ice cream flavor to raise funds for a local cause.

PETER SCHUBERT

 “Despite the lingering effects of the global pandemic, Brooklyn’s homegrown businesses are resilient, and Jackie and Brian are perfect examples of the spirit and tenacity of our local retailers,” said Schubert.

“We are thrilled to have found this location to help Jackie and Brian return to the neighborhood where their ice cream journey began – and offer a unique experience to residents looking for new places to reconnect.”

Situated in a ground floor corner space with 110 feet of wraparound frontage at the corner of St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue, the new location will feature a long ice cream counter, donut station, party room, sidewalk seating, and a viewing kitchen to watch ice cream production in process. The landlord was represented by Tim King, managing partner at SVN Real Estate.

816 WASHINGTON AVENUE

“Ice cream has the power to transport us to a world of imagination, where we can be children again, alive with magic, a world where everything in life, in the universe, remains possible,” said co-founder Cuscuna. “That’s what we’re after with every scoop – to gather people together to bridge divides and build community.”

The announcement comes one year to the day that Ample Hills filed for bankruptcy and was eventually bought by a Portland, Oregon-based firm Schmitt Industries for $1 million, according to reports.

Ample Hills was started by Smith and Cuscuna from a pushcart in 2010. At its height, it was doing $10 million in sales and had more than a dozen locations in NYC, Florida and Los Angeles.

However, it’s speedy growth came at a cost and the couple struggled to manage it, laying off their workers and filing for bankruptcy just as COVID hit the nation. Cuscuna and Smith left soon after the sale to Schmitt and began planning their new concept.

The Social is targeting an opening date this summer.

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