Small Business Spotlight: Little Baby’s Ice Cream

We are nothing short of amazed by the success, humility and creativity of Little Baby’s Ice Cream. We were lucky enough to chat with Pete Angevine and the staff at Little Baby’s Ice Cream and learn about everything from tricycles to viral videos! What began as a quirky, harebrained project between friends to serve homemade ice cream at Philadelphia events has grown into a rapidly expanding business with 2 stores, multiple street vending operations and a retail presence all over the city, serving up non-dairy and “Philadelphia style”  ice cream. With their trademark, wacky and colorful style, far-out flavors and positive attitude it is easy to see why Philly has fallen in love with Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

The saga of Little Baby’s began in 2011 when three musicians and longtime friends, Pete Angevine, Martin Brown, and Jeffrey Ziga, came together, seeking a new creative venture. They realized that they all shared a similar passion, ice cream! Pete and Jeffrey actually shared the hobby of making their own ice cream. They collectively decided to take their interest in ice cream to the next level, and began selling their homemade goods at festivals and concerts around Philly. They approached the creation of their product as an art form and began making specialty batches of outrageous flavors in order to “disrupt the expectations” of their consumers. They quickly realized that people from all walks of life really loved their product and that they really enjoyed providing them with the new experience of sampling their crazy collection of flavors. It wasn’t long before they opened up their first shop and in then summer of 2012, they opened their “World Headquarters” at 2311 Frankford Avenue, sharing a space with Philly’s iconic pizza shop and museum, Pizza Brain in Fishtown. The company has been a huge success and is now well-known and adored by Philadelphians.

One of the most alluring things about Little Baby’s Ice Cream is their colorful and cartoonish style. From the zany company name to their fleet of ice cream dispensing cargo tricycles, everything is designed with a touch of weirdness and fun. Their storefronts are partially inspired by Pee Wee’s Playhouse and their menu is constantly changing as the kitchen staff attempts to come up with the wildest flavor combinations imaginable, even asking customers to submit requests via a special hotline. Pete Angevine states that their goal is to offer “a full experience” and that one of the best things about working at Little Baby’s is the “opportunity to be creative every day.” The founders take great pride in what they refer to as the “visual identity” of the business and feel it has helped lead them establish their presence and popularity in Philly.

Of course, we couldn’t help asking the crew at Little Baby’s about their famous, viral YouTube video featuring Malcolm, a half man, half ice cream creature, supposedly born out of a batch of Little Baby’s Ice Cream. Pete Angevine explained that a local artist, Doug Garth Williams, came up with an idea for a weird series of commercials featuring this odd entity and put them out into the world via YouTube. None of them had any idea that they would merit so much attention and be thrust into the limelight. In fact, the founders, coming from very creative backgrounds, didn’t really think it was that bizarre of a video. Fortunately, the popularity of the strange advertisement mirrored the opening of their first store which really helped to get their name out. The video has reached 8 million views and the staff at Little Baby’s says they still receive a constant barrage of calls and emails about the video, some expressing how much they love it and some calling in a fit of rage about how terrible it is. Recently, a couple drove out from Ohio to try the Ice Cream after seeing the video. Who knew a guy covered in marshmallow fluff could cause such a stir?

One thing that we really love about the founders of Little Baby’s is that they are a group of genuine, down-to-earth, Philly dudes who are motivated to help others, improve their community and give back in any way that they can. They work collaboratively with a number of local businesses and do their best to support and promote them in any way that they can. They made a point to express their gratitude for their community partners Trickling Springs Creamery, Haley Tricycles, Peanut Chews and all of the other organizations that help them create and distribute their “community supported ice cream.” The founders are overwhelmed by the welcoming support they have received from the Philadelphia community and are grateful to be able to positively contribute to the area that they live and work in. They were particularly honored to be granted the opportunity to make the first ever, official Peanut Chew Ice Cream. They hope to stay immersed in the exciting and happening, creative community of artists, musicians and comedians in Philly for years to come.

When we asked the staff at Little Baby’s what plans they had for the future they expressed a desire to keep up their current momentum and move forward, stating “there is more to come, we are not done yet.” Their newest project involves increasing their pint distribution efforts. They plan to continue growing their rotating menu of 100 plus, out-of-this-world flavors and intend to introduce a new almond milk based ice cream. Most importantly, they want to continue providing their customers with an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and have a new experience through their unique and exciting, artistically formed frozen treats. If you don’t believe the Little Baby’s slogan that “ice cream is a feeling” now, you just might after you pay them a visit and try your first scoop.

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