Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Professional Foray #9, Alphabet Scoop

Several friends who have lived in the East Village, apprised of my blog, have oriented me in the direction of Alphabet Scoop.  It sounds like my dream come true: ice cream as income-generating tool for kids from underserved communities.  Their motto is "Changing lives, one scoop at a time."  Or three scoops at a time, if you're me.

Their website describes the project:

"Alphabet Scoop is a homemade ice cream store that trains and employs youth in the life and job skills that will allow them to advance in their school and work endeavors. Teenagers receive classroom instruction and work under a mentor/manager, someone who oversees the operation of the shift and mentors the teen."

So that's the good news.  The other good news is that there are free unlimited sprinkles (chocolate and rainbow), exceptionally nice people behind the counter, one of whom bent the rules and squeezed three flavors into a regular-sized cones (love that), and it's late on weekends, til 11 on Saturday.

The bad news is the ice cream.  I had chocolate peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie dough, and cookies and cream.  While the flavors were all right, the texture was off.  It never quite melted; I could tell that, given enough time, this ice cream could end up like a supermarket brand my best friend Katie once bought for a dinner party in Berlin.  While she insisted she loved its fluffy, mousse-like texture, I pointed out that the morning after the party, it still had not melted entirely.  It was in some kind of state of suspension, a limbo born of too many stabilizers, and not enough dairy.  Remember dairy? 

Alphabet Scoop's ice cream bore that same mark of uncertain melting capacity.  My friend Greg and I had walked all the way to Second Avenue from Avenue B, where the store is located, and bumped into a friend and talked for twenty minutes before we sat down in a park where I could finish my ice cream.  And still, it wasn't melted.

My advice to the lovely, lovely folks who work there: skip the stabilizers, or the milk powder, or the corn syrup, or whatever funny stuff is going into your ice creams, and get back to the basics.  Your concept is FABULOUS and I would support you in a heartbeat if I could stomach more of your product. $2.25 for a small, $3.75 for a regular (2 scoops).543 East 11th Street, New York 10009, between Avenues A and B, 212-982-1422, http://www.fathersheartnyc.com/programs-alphabetscoop.php 

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