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Friday
Oct172014

TOUR DAY TWO

This is going to be brief, because I cleaned an ice cream truck for four hours and I've just eaten a bunch of Taco Bell.

Today around lunch time Genevieve and I met up with Kevin, the Mr Softee in Richmond. Kevin is a swell guy with a good ice cream truck. Genevieve and I have driven some serious shitboxes; this is not one of em. We couldn't take over the truck til eventing, so I spent the afternoon running errands, making calls, and took the dog on a nice run. Once the sun fell Genevieve went off towards the truck.

The inside of Kevin's truck was in pretty good shape. As you can imagine, most of the stuff a Softee truck uses is not only useless to us- it's in the way. We rearranged and scoured. I hadn't cleaned this model of Electrofreeze soft-serve machine in a few years. I forgot to relieve a pressure valve and was blasted the face with the ice cream mix I was trying to clean out of the machine.

We aren't trying to hide that the truck is a rented Softee, but we do what we can to minimize the Softee branding. My friend Erica came over to help "redecorate" the truck's exterior. She used low adhesive shelf paper to cover some of the Softee logos, and silver shelf paper to cover the menus. Everything Ercia did looks fantastic! All those years of draping fondant at Charm City Cakes paid off!

Buster ran amok the whole time. When we returned his paws were filthy and his face smelled like vanilla- and he got a bath in the hotel tub.

We're ready- our fifth anniversary tour is about to begin. I ain't scared.

Thursday
Oct162014

TOUR DAY ONE

So we decided to go on an ice cream truck tour.

We've been preparing for this for about 13 months, and going berserk of he last few weeks getting all the final details nailed down. Today we set out on what should be an amazing near-train wreck adventure.

There are five man players in this adventure. Bryan is the logistics wiz. Genevieve (aka GorgeousTaps) is our chief trucker- she has been working with us for a few years. Adny (spell it that way or DIE) is flying in on Saturday to work with Genevieve. I am Doug and I don't really know what I do. Buster is my dog.

This morning Bryan set off for Raleigh, which on Saturday will be our first official stop. He's our advance man, making sure that all the ingredients and ice cream mix are ready to go, checking out the place where the truck will serve, looking at the kitchen we'll be using, and yadda yadda I mentioned the bisque.

Genevieve, Buster and I set off for Richmond VA in a gigantic rented SUV. This thing is like navigating a damned yacht. We've got the merchandise we'll be selling (totes, coffee, and buttons), lots of toppings, cups and stuff, and a bunch of back-up ice cream that I'm keeping on dry ice. Just in case.

Why are we in Richmond? We're renting an ice cream truck that lives here. We'll b meeting it tomorrow for the first time. Please pray that it will survive the next 2000 miles!

Tuesday
Oct142014

SOUTHERN TOUR: WHAT WE'RE MAKING, WHAT YOU'RE EATING

Thursday
Oct022014

Everything Is Going South

NEW YORK CITY, OCT 2, 2014 – General Sherman battled through one in 1864. The Sex Pistols went down in a blaze of glory during theirs in 1978. But Big Gay Ice Cream has never taken a Southern tour. Until now. Tighten your bible belts. it’s going to be a wild ride!

Big Gay Ice Cream is pleased to announce it is teaming up with the Southern Foodways Alliance for its first ever ice cream truck tour through five southern states. The road trip will kick off Saturday, October 18, in Raleigh, NC, and will culminate with two days in Oxford, MS, at the SFA’s 17th annual symposium, ending on Saturday, October 25.

This year’s symposium, “Who is Welcome at the Welcome Table?,” marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which desegregated places of public accommodation including restaurants. The symposium takes a deep dive into the present, focusing on who is welcome at the contemporary welcome table, asking questions about inclusion and exclusion in the modern South, while taking into account old and new imperatives like ethnicity, sexuality, diet, class, gender and race.

2014 also marks the 5th anniversary of Big Gay Ice Cream. As part of our continuing celebrations, we are proud to return to our roots and bring our tasty and whimsical treats to a completely new audience exactly like we did when we started: going old school in a rented soft-serve truck. Bestsellers, including our Salty Pimp and Bea Arthur cones, will be available alongside regionally influenced specialties.

Listed below are the tour dates, cities and restaurant partners, all of whom have been most welcoming in helping us make this trip happen.

Saturday, October 18

Poole's Downtown Diner
3pm - 10pm (estimated times)*

426 S. McDowell Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Chef/Owner: Ashley Christensen

Sunday, October 19

Butcher & Bee

4pm - 10pm (estimated times)*
*Line will close at 8pm*
654 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Owner: Michael Shemtov / Organizer: Randi Weinstein

Monday, October 20 and Tuesday, October 21
Bantam & Biddy
4pm - 10pm (Monday) (estimated times)*

*Line will close at 8pm*
2pm - 10pm (Tuesday) (estimated times)*
*Line will close at 8pm*
1544 Piedmont Avenue NE

Atlanta, GA 30324

Chef/Owners: Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere

Wednesday, October 22

Highlands Bar and Grill

4pm - 10pm (estimated times)*
*Line will close at 9pm*

2011 11th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205

Chef/Owners: Pardis and Frank Stitt

Friday, October 24

Big Bad Breakfast

2pm - 10pm (estimated times)*
*Line will close at 9pm*
719 N Lamar Blvd
Oxford, MS 38655
Chef/Owner: John Currence

Saturday, October 25

Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium
University of Mississippi

Private Event
Chef Partner: John Currence

Organizer: John T. Edge

 

About Big Gay Ice Cream
Big Gay Ice Cream began as a seasonal food truck in 2009, and since then has seen a whirlwind of publicity and acclaim to become one of the top ice cream companies in the country. With a playful attitude, Big Gay Ice Cream spins a new take on old-school soft-serve by creating fun and unique ice creams, toppings and frozen treats that appeal to a diverse clientele.

The first Big Gay Ice Cream Shop opened in 2011 in New York City’s East Village, followed by a West Village location in 2012. Additional shops in Los Angeles and Philadelphia are slated to open by the end of 2014. The shops have been ranked as the best ice cream parlors in the country (and #5 in the world).

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has been named both the most influential food truck and the best dessert truck in the country. The truck also holds the distinction of being the only food truck invited to appear at the James Beard House in New York City.

About Southern Foodways Alliance
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. The SFA sets a common table where black and white, rich and poor—all who gather—may consider our history and our future in a spirit of reconciliation. A member-supported non-profit, based at the University of Mississippi, the SFA stages symposia on food culture, produces documentary films, collects oral histories, sponsors scholarship, and publishes great writing. Please visit southernfoodways.org and follow on Twitter, @Potlikker.
*Times and locations are subject to change and will be updated both online and via social media before each scheduled stop.

Tuesday
Aug052014

Fly away, Sweet Kayla

This is Kayla.

 

I met Kayla when she came to our ice cream truck as a customer. Kayla was cool. A while later I was playing with The Boston Pops. Amanda Palmer was the guest soloist, and Kayla was working the merchandise counter. Kayla was cool.

When we were starting to open our first shop, we needed counter staff and had no idea how to hire people. Where the hell do you find a crew? We didn't have the foggiest. I thought of Kayla, cuz Kayla was obviously into doing whatever and quite frankly, she seemed cool.

Kayla knew as little about working in an ice cream shop as we did about running an ice cream shop. Fake it til ya make it. Kayla has been making that shop go ever since.

Tuesday 8/5 is Kayla's last day with us. She is going to climb onto a unicorn, ride it across a rainbow and through cotton candy clouds and take up residence in a magical world of music and art.

When I learned that Kayla was leaving us I started crying, and since then I haven't stopped for long. Kayla is one of us. She has given so much to Bryan and I... I could never put into words how grateful we are. Kayla has made the East Village shop into what it is and will always be.

Thank you, Kayla. Fly away. Follow Pecker II and Pecker I to a magical nest full of dreams about space kittens.