You are reading

Ample Hills Closes Ice Cream Stores, Including Long Island City and Astoria Locations

Ample Hills, located at 34-02 30th Ave. in Astoria (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Ample Hills, located at 34-02 30th Ave. in Astoria, has closed. It isn’t clear whether the closure is temporary or permanent (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Jan.12, 2023 By Christian Murray

Ample Hills Creamery, the popular ice cream purveyor, has shut down all 12 of its stores—including its two in Queens.

The creamery, known for churning out innovative and story-themed ice creams, initially said that it was closing the stores on a temporary basis—between Dec. 19 and Dec. 25—due to a lack of capital.

The stores, however, remain closed, including the Long Island City and Astoria locations, and it isn’t clear whether the closures are permanent.

Schmitt Industries, an Oregon-based company that owns the stores, released a statement Dec. 19 abruptly announcing that it would be shutting down its operations for at least a week.

“This action is required while the company seeks the additional investment capital required for it to continue operations,” the company said in a statement. “There is no assurance that additional capital will be obtained, and if the company cannot raise sufficient capital, it will be required to shut down operations indefinitely.”

Ample Hills, located at 34-02 30th Ave. in Astoria (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post) (1)

A sign on the front door of Ample Hills in Astoria (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

The scoop shop had been operating 12 locations across the country – with six in Brooklyn, two in Manhattan, one in New Jersey and one in California.

The December announcement came just three months after the company opened a store in Long Island City at 5-36 50th Ave. — in a building situated across the street from the 108th Police Precinct building.

An Ample Hills spokesperson said at the time that the company was eager to expand its footprint into Long Island City.

“It is a thriving neighborhood with great schools and businesses,” the spokesperson said. “We really want to be a part of that community fabric and we are excited to be bringing our ice cream to Long Island City.”

The Long Island City scoop shop represented its second Queens store following on from its Astoria location at 34-02 30th Ave. that opened in 2018.

The Ample Hills store at 5-36 50th Ave. in Hunters Point, Long Island City, pictured on Jan. 10, 2023 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

The Ample Hills store at 5-36 50th Ave. in Hunters Point, Long Island City, pictured on Jan. 10, 2023 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

On Wednesday, the Astoria location was closed during normal business hours. The store was empty with unopened mail strewn across the floor.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Patch reported that a note demanding $113,000 in back rent had been slapped on the front door of its Park Slope location.

Ample Hills, located at 34-02 30th Ave. in Astoria (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post) (1)

Ample Hills, located at 34-02 30th Ave. in Astoria, with unopened mail by the front door (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

This is the second time the popular company has faced fiscal woes.

The creamery, which was founded by the husband-and-wife duo of Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna in Brooklyn in 2011, ran into financial difficulties and filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2020.

Schmitt Industries acquired the bankrupt creamery in June 2020. The couple left following the sale.

Ample Hills has built a reputation for its zany flavors and locally sourced ingredients.

The ice cream purveyor has a large following in both Queens and New York City.

Some of its popular offerings include the “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake,” which is a creamy vanilla ice cream mixed with chewy butter cake pieces, and the “PB’s Fluff & Fold,” which is a fluffy marshmallow ice cream mixed with dark chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirls.

Ample Hills also offers its own neighborhood-exclusive flavors.

Its Astoria location, for instance, has offered the “Nectar of the Queens” in recognition of the neighborhood’s Greek population. It is a smooth honey cinnamon ice cream mixed with the classic Greek pastries of baklava and galaktoboureko.

The Long Island City location also has its own in-house flavor inspired by the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign situated on the Hunters Point waterfront.

The future of the stores, however, looks bleak, and the company has not provided any indication as to whether it has found new capital. Schmitt Industries and Ample Hills did not respond for comment.

Michael Dorgan contributed to this story.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

3 men sought for armed robbery in East Elmhurst home invasion near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

The NYPD is looking for three men who allegedly robbed an East Elmhurst man of tens of thousands of dollars during a home invasion early Monday morning.

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at a townhouse located at 108-09 Ditmars Blvd. near 29th Avenue just south of LaGuardia Airport.
The victim had pulled up in front of his home just before 2 a.m. when he was approached by three suspects. One of them pulled out a firearm and forced him inside the townhouse where they stole around $30,000 in cash and a safe that contained an unspecified amount of jewelry, before exiting and driving off in a silver four-door SUV, police said.