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.”
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!