Brooklyn’s Favorite Iconic Ice Cream Comes to Dallas: Van Leeuwen, whose New York ice cream parlors have won a devoted following, is opening a store in Dallas’ West Village.
The store will take over the old Paciugo Gelato space, closed in 2020; according to a spokesperson, the store is expected to open in early 2022.
Van Leeuwen was founded by brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill in 2008 as a food truck before expanding into a brick and mortar operation, with 17 stores across New York City. In recent years they have achieved expansion, both opening new stores and manufacturing their pints, which are packaged in pastel-hued cartons, available in supermarkets such as Sprouts and Central Market.
“The idea came from our passion for handcrafted food,” O’Neill told PBS. “We set out to make the best ice cream possible using only fresh milk and cream, cane sugar, egg yolks and the best flavor ingredients from small local producers and around the world. “
They take an artisanal approach to everything, including using ingredients from acclaimed like-minded suppliers, such as Intelligentsia Coffee. In their stores, they also offer pastries, cakes, scones, muffins and cookies, using the same carefully purchased chocolates, spices, nuts and fruits that are used in their ice cream.
They offer over 40 flavors, including a solid vegan / non-dairy selection, which they make from a variety of milks, including coconut, cashew, and oat; with their super creamy texture, they are easily some of the best vegan / non-dairy ice cream on the market.
Stores typically carry 30-32 flavors, a mix of dairy and vegan products, as well as four special flavors each month, made, in the company’s lingo, “junk-free,” from milk, cream, eggs and cane sugar (or their vegan equivalents).
The distinct flavors come from an obsession with sourcing high quality ingredients such as Sicilian pistachios, cold pressed Tahitian vanilla and Rishi organic black tea. For example, their Honeycomb flavor uses a homemade honeycomb-shaped candy.
The company debuted in Texas in May 2021 with the opening of a store in Houston, where two more openings are planned. Houston was their third market, joining New York and Los Angeles, and they have since opened branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
They mark the second big name in ice cream coming to Dallas: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream entered the market in February 2021 with a store in Deep Ellum, and will host a grand opening of a second store, this one in Addison , October 28. .
Eric Sandler contributed to this story.