Brooklyn-based scoop shop Ample Hills files for bankruptcy

Gowanaissance! New Third Avenue shops reshape the neighborhood
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

As businesses across the city struggle to stay afloat amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, Brooklyn-based ice cream purveyor Ample Hills Creamery has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a statement, the popular ice cream parlor said the filing was not brought on by the current COVID-19 pandemic, rather it was done so that the business could “course correct.”

“We are taking the necessary next steps to preserve and ultimately bring Ample Hills into its next phase. In order to do this, we are filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows us to restructure and refocus,” a spokesperson said. “We have learned a lot from our growth and this is a strategic decision that allows us to course correct and continue doing what we love most: creating a delicious product from scratch, in our beloved Brooklyn home.”

While the company did not expand on its so-called “next phase,” the rep said that Ample Hills stores remain open — for now.

“This decision was not brought on by the current COVID-19 pandemic and we are following all guidelines as outlined by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the [New York City Department of Health] to ensure the safety of our Amployees and customers. With that in mind, we remain open for takeout per the current guidelines.”

Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna — a married couple from Brooklyn — opened Ample Hills’ first brick-and-mortar shop in Prospect Heights in 2011 after starting as a pushcart. The scoop shop now has 14 locations in the New York City area — six of them in its home borough of Brooklyn — as well as two Florida outposts.

The creamery is known for its fun and innovative flavors, such as “It Came From Gowanus” — a loaded chocolate ice cream “full of surprises,” just like the polluted waterway.

Ample Hills’ bankruptcy filing follows in the footsteps of the closure of its Los Angeles location in January, and in those of Fairway Market, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as well.