Co-founder Doug Quint gives PEOPLE the scoop on the brand's 10-year anniversary during Pride month.
In stores now, the brand is spreading sweet love with pints of their newest flavor creations: Banan-o-Graham, Fluffernutter and Spicy Choco-Lit ice cream. Banan-o-Graham is a blend of caramelized banana ice cream, graham swirls and graham crunch; Fluffernutter is comprised of peanut butter ice cream with marshmallow swirls, mini marshmallows and peanut pralines; and Spicy Choco-Lit is a tongue-tingling mix of milk chocolate ice cream, spicy fudge swirls and hot cinnamon candy pieces.
For the first time ever, BGIC is also rolling out their products in grocery stores on the West Coast, coming to ice cream aisles in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno and San Francisco.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2019, Big Gay Ice Cream never expected they would be where they are today, growing from a simple ice cream truck in Manhattan into a national grocery store staple with scoop shops spreading across the country. In fact, co-founder Doug Quint tells PEOPLE that Big Gay Ice Cream started almost as a joke.
“We just decided one day that we were going to have an ice cream truck,” Quint says. “We looked at it as sort of a summer project that could go really, really wrong, and we intended to do it for just one summer, in 2009.” A Juilliard-trained musician, Quint had no experience in the food space, nor did the other half of Big Gay Ice Cream’s co-founding team, Bryan Petroff.
Regardless, they thought it would be a good story if nothing else, so they bought a truck and took to the streets. They named it the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck as a placeholder because they couldn’t think of anything else at the time, and “it was really just a big, gay ice cream truck to us,” Quint says. “Before long we realized that we weren’t going to find a new name—the name had found us.”
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Fast forward 10 years, and Quint and Petroff have built an ice cream empire, with no plans of stopping anytime soon. This June, for Pride month, Quint says they are busier than they’ve ever been before. “Pride month is always busy, but this is the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, so there are a lot of corporate functions and parties that we’re catering,” Quint says. “But besides the amount of work we’re doing because of the anniversary, the amount of traction these new pints are getting on social media and through word of mouth is so amazing.”
His favorite new flavor? “I think the Banan-o-Graham is—well, I don’t think it is, I know it is—one of the best fruit ice creams available, and I think it’s one of the great fruit ice creams ever mass produced. I think all our things are great, but I think that pint is absolutely world class.”