The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is located at 125 East 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A. The shop features Big Gay Ice Cream’s full menu (including signature cups/cones, sundaes, shakes, and floats), daily specials, and select BGIC merchandise — plus an array of items from Melt Bakery, La Newyorkina, Oslo Coffee, Danny Macaroons, Bacon Marmalade, Treats Truck, and more.
Big Gay Ice Cream began as the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, a summer experiment by founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff that began rolling the streets of New York City in June 2009. Described by The Village Voice as "a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali" the menu combines traditional soft-serve ice cream with imaginative toppings such as wasabi pea dust, Nilla Wafers, Dulce de Leche, olive oil and sea salt, and other rotating offerings. These are dispensed the way ice cream should be — with humor and good cheer. With this playful attitude, BGIC spins a new take on old-school soft-serve by creating fun and unique toppings that appeal to a diverse mix of clientele.
The truck has been blessed with excellent mentions online, in print, and on television — both domestic and international. Features include those from The Daily News, The New York Post, Time Out NY, NBC, ABC, Logo, Daily Candy, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Rachael Ray Show, multiple Food Network and Cooking Channel shows, and both NPR and CBC Radio.
The New York Times sums up the truck as follows: "The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is manned by the charming Doug Quint, a bassoonist who Twitters, like a latter-day Pied Piper, his daily menu [and] location. [He] gives the same information on his website. Mr. Quint's operation doesn’t aspire to be artisanal. He celebrates the Mister Softee tradition, with a wink. Toppings, like saba (Italian grape syrup) and sriracha, are the draw. I was too timid for the tamari, but the marriage of ginger syrup and curry powder was magical."
Doug and Bryan are thrilled that their idea of pairing "plain-old soft serve" with fun, eclectic toppings, and then selling it with a smile, has sparked both happiness and satisfied palates. The duo opened their first brick and mortar store in New York City's East Village in the summer of 2011. With this expansion, the company has rechristened itself Big Gay Ice Cream, to encompass all of its ventures.