When Pete Angevine, Jeffrey Ziga and Martin Brown decided to start a small-batch ice cream business just over one year ago, they didn't expect it to become a full-time job. "It definitely started as a hobby," recalls Angevine. "We were all busy with other things, and this was something funny to do on weekends."
"It started as a joke," adds Ziga. "Maybe we'd make a few bucks, maybe we wouldn't."
But people loved the joke so much it turned into a lucrative career. Up until this March, Little Baby's pushed product from one modified tricycle they pedaled from event to event. But one tricycle became four, and a team of three became a staff of more than 10. As of last week, four local grocery stores (including West Philly's Mariposa Co-op and Northern Liberties' The Foodery) carry Little Baby's pints. And now there's the shop, opening Friday, which they call Little Baby's Ice Cream World Headquarters.
Brown, the man behind the ice cream machine, refers to ice cream as "a blank canvas." "We realized we could do whatever we wanted with it," he says. "It became a new medium for us." With flavors such as Earl Grey Sriracha, Peanut Butter Maple Tarragon and Balsamic Banana, Little Baby's approaches ice cream like Salvador Dali approached painting: a space where the imagination can run wild.
"Ice cream is such an iconic American thing -- everyone has a certain feeling about it, which makes it a good platform for being subversive," says Angevine. "We try to provide new, weird experiences that broaden people's worldviews and make life more exciting."
"We want to be confrontational," adds Ziga. "We want people to feel confused and happy when they discover we don't serve plain chocolate, but have all these weird flavors."
If you go
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
World Headquarters grand opening
Friday, 5 p.m.
2311 Frankford Ave.