Amazing Kids! Magazine

How Jane’s Ice Cream Came To Be: A Complete Interview

By Stella Prince, AK Adventures Editor

 

One of the benefits of living in New York is eating fabulous servings of Jane’s Ice Cream throughout the summer.

In late July, I went to Kingston, where Jane’s production building and office is located, in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley.  I immediately met with the owner of the company, Amy Keller, and interviewed her for most of the afternoon.

I also got a tour of the factory, and was chilled to the bone when I went inside one of the many ice cream freezers they have downstairs. Jane’s Ice Cream actually has over 70 flavors in total, so the freezers are quite crowded– and according to Amy, the whole staff pitches in when deciding what new flavor to add to the menu. “We also follow the trend.” She added, when handing me a pint of lavender ice cream, which is “a new trendy flavor.” But they also have classic tastes, like vanilla bean, cookie dough, and lemon sorbet.

Jane’s Ice Cream first began in 1985, when Amy’s sister, Jane, moved to the Hudson Valley to run a small store in the town of Phoenicia, but she quickly realized she needed an extra hand. “The whole thing started when Jane called me up one day and said to me, ‘I need help, please come,’” remembered Amy, so she quickly came to her sister’s aid. “I came in the summer from D.C, and I never went back.” Amy also met her husband and soon-to-be business partner, Bob, while running the store in Phoenicia. “After Bob and I met, he brought up the idea of moving the business to Kingston, so we opened up a restaurant there, and began making thirty-two flavors of ice cream almost immediately, and it was definitely an awful lot of work,” said Amy. But it was worth it– the business grew steadily over time, and after twenty years of running Jane’s Restaurant, the three felt that it was time to move on. Instead of working seven days a week in the restaurant business they focused solely on their signature frozen dessert and created Jane’s Ice Cream. And they both quickly became the two sole owners of the company, as Jane decided to go back to school in 2005, and not be a part of the wholesale business.

And at the end of the factory tour, I was generously given a box of 9 different flavors of Jane’s Ice Cream. It was definitely the best night of the summer– I tasted spoonfuls of Mint Chip, Lemon Sorbet, Mango Sorbet, Killer Chocolate, Toasted Coconut, Cappuccino Kahlua Calypso, Lavender, Lemoncello, and Coffee & Cookies. Wow!

Now, Jane’s Ice Cream is an award-winning, successful ice cream company sold across New York and Massachusetts. You can follow the business on Instagram at @janesicecream.

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