Lower Rents Allow Brooklyn Ice Cream Shop to Open ‘Boutique’ on the UWS

Flavors range from traditional to innovative, from Just Vanilla to Salt-Kissed Caramel to Vegan Brooklyn Black & White Cookie.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Around the first of April, a Brooklyn-based, organic “ice cream boutique,” called Blue Marble, will open where Earth Cafe used to be, on the northeast corner of Broadway and 97th Street.

Nationally acclaimed, the ice cream is made at Blue Marble’s certified-organic ice cream plant in Sunset Park’s Industry City, of all natural, consciously and (mostly) locally sourced ingredients. It can be found in Whole Foods and through Fresh Direct and other retailers, but since its debut in 2007, its scoop shops have been located exclusively in Brooklyn — until now.

“I’m not going to lie, this venture was made possible by the pandemic and the lower rents that resulted from it,” co-owner Jennie Dundas, told WSR, in a phone interview. “The rents have always been a barrier to entry for us in Manhattan. I live around the corner from the new shop and when I saw this opportunity open up, this gorgeous location, I thought, we’ve just got to do this, because I want our neighborhood to feel loved and to have joy. I’ve been here throughout the whole pandemic, and it’s been a challenging time. I want to invest in my neighborhood.”

An ice cream boutique is a new concept for the company, Dundas said. “We’re hoping to see people before work, so we’ll open at 8 a.m. and, along with our pints, we’ll offer a coffee espresso bar and other drinks, with delicious, freshly baked pastries from Colson Patisserie, located in Brooklyn. Then, we’ll have these wonderful little things I love, gifts and items for the home — beautiful dish towels and napkins, soaps and olive oils from Italy and Spain, board games and puzzles for kids to enjoy without having to engage in tech — all kinds of things I’ve tried and tested in my own home and think my neighbors would enjoy.”

Jennie with organic sugar cane in Brazil.

Blue Marble was named for the famous photograph taken of the Earth from space. “We chose it because our ice cream carries nature inside of every scoop,” Dundas said. “It’s crazy,” she added. “I loved Earth Cafe so much and we’re Earth Ice Cream. It’s all so perfect, it had to happen.”

Being an ice cream entrepreneur is a second career for Dundas, 50, who was a successful child actor, starring as Meryl Streep’s assistant in “The Post,” and Diane Keaton’s daughter in “The First Wives Club.” It is doubtful she will switch roles again. “I’m optimistic,” she said. “Our lease is for nine years, so we’re definitely in it for the long haul.”

Dundas promised to let us know the exact opening date and other details when they are set. We’ll let you know, because the first 100 scoops are free!

FOOD, NEWS | 37 comments | permalink
    1. Sarah says:

      Their cookies and cream is quite good, though I only buy it on sale.

    2. Jonathan says:

      Blue Marble makes some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Great news for the neighborhood!

    3. LL says:

      This is exciting. There hasn’t been an ice cream place on Broadway since there was that gourmet ice cream shop, where the gluten free bakery is now.

      • Pepper says:

        What do you call Ben & Jerry’s & Häagen-Dazs further north on Broadway at 104th & 113th?

    4. Amit says:

      I like this interesting article

    5. Maryjane says:

      This is so exciting, I am actually shaking as I type this

    6. Toddo says:

      Excellent! Looking forward to it.

    7. Happy Ice Cream Fan says:

      Yey! Ice cream! Can’t wait to try it 🙂
      Welcome to the neighborhood, Blue Marble.
      I look forwards to seeing more businesses take advantage of the lower rents to move to the UWS in the near future.

    8. uwsgal says:

      yay!! We just moved to 98th and West End and I love Blue Marble ice cream but am even more excited by the coffee bar/pastry part of the venture.

      • Abe Goteiner says:

        Welcome to the UWS.
        I grew up on West 99th between Broadway and Amsterdamm. My family had a candy store/newsstand at 2609 Broadway. You’ll see that address no longer exists. Hope you enjoy the neighborhooh.
        I’m in Worcester, MA, now after 39 years in Kansas City.

    9. Metromade says:

      Their strawberry ice cream is like no other. I’m so happy! It’’ll be 3 blocks from me.

    10. J PLus says:

      Moving into the UWS from the LES I thought we were to be bereft of Ice Cream options.
      Yes, Ben & Jerrys (Unilever)and HäagenDazs (Nestlé)are up there but COME ON! NO Corporate Cream for padding out these jeans!
      Blue Marble is a welcome addition to the indie cryo-bovine options

    11. Janice says:

      This is both GREAT and horrible news.

      Great, because I LOVE Blue Marble Ice Cream. And horrible, because I am gonna gain a lot of weight. lol

      And a free scoop? I am IN!

    12. Ronnie Janus says:

      I look forward to its opening. The description evokes a cross between Serendipity, the frozen hot-chocolate emporium on the Upper East Side, and an old fashioned ice cream parlor. I hope there are “modern” features, such as vegan ice cream offerings, or at least a selection of ice creams without egg ingredients.

    13. Judy says:

      Welcome!

    14. Jess says:

      Can’t wIt for this to open!!! This neighborhood so desperately needs a good coffee and pastry hang.
      And delicious ice cream? Heavenly!!

      • rs says:

        THere was one, in this very location, called Green Cafe. Driven out by combination of pandemia and rent.

    15. Laura D says:

      move over Van Leeuwen… room for everyone tho…

    16. Cintra says:

      I’ve always loved that Vanilla flavored Blue Marble ice cream. I buy 1 pint almost everyday. Then the market or store always runs out. It’s so very hard to find this particular vanilla brand. I’m so glad they’re opening up in my neighborhood. I’ll clean the store out of their vanilla 😁

    17. chuck d says:

      This is great, tho I wish Earth Cafe would come back. That place was perfect.

    18. Andrea Lois Becker says:

      Sounds fabulous! Welcome to the U.W.S. Best wishes for success.

    19. Benny B says:

      Fabulous. Just Fabulous.

    20. Wake up says:

      You fools. What do you think has caused the sky-rocketing obesity epidemic, diabetes and heart disease in this country. When does this sick, constant indulgence end?

      • Sarah says:

        Lighten up, Francis.

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Is this a “Stripes” reference?!? I love it.

          One of my favorite movies growing up. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis at their best! Thanks for the smile.:)

      • rteplow says:

        you seem fun

      • Sam Katz says:

        Actually, that has nothing to do with fresh ice cream and everything to do with carbohydrates, salt, and chemicals found in junk food, fast food, and crap found in bags that is hawked on television — like soda, McDonald’s, and potato chips. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy about fresh anything, including dairy.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          fresh ice cream has loads of sugar, which is dangerous stuff and has to be eaten sparingly, especially for children.

      • Sam Katz says:

        By the way, nice photo and name. Can never figure out why people are afraid to use their real names and pictures. Are you, perhaps, aware you are writing something that isn’t true?

    21. Judy says:

      Fabulous

    22. Judy says:

      Terrific. It is the best.

    23. Molly says:

      Yay for vegan Ice cream!

    24. Sam Katz says:

      Ice cream is my favorite food group. I am very excited!

    25. M. Taylor says:

      Lots of Luck. Thank you for deciding to open a shop on the incomparable Upper West Side. Hope you’ll also offer fruit-sweetened only flavors for us sugar-challenged folks.

    26. JoJo says:

      Amazing news. Ice cream brings joy and we all could use some!!! And congratulations to a small business owner who is surviving during this crazy time! We welcome you!

    27. Bruce Bernstein says:

      so much for the myth that store vacancies and declining retail on Bway has nothing to do with high rents. The rent is too damn high!

    28. Wendy says:

      I tried Blue Marble ice cream once as my sister lives near the original one. I found it kinda pricey and just okay. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think I would run over there to pay $6 for a cone.

      Would love to see some food stores up there that are not about sugar, carbs, pastries, donuts, etc.