Van Leeuwen

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Is there anything more perfect than two scoops of ice cream on a waffle cone on a hot summer day? I think not. One of my favorite shops to frequent is Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. The chain was started as a buttery yellow truck in Greenpoint, Brooklyn serving only natural flavors made with the best ingredients. Luckily for those of us in SoCal, they recently opened up shops in the City of Angels.  I was lucky enough to speak with Pete Van Leeuwen; see below a snippet of our conversation:

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Courtesy of Scott Leon

How would you describe the brand / the Van Leeuwin aesthetic? 

In New York, we didn’t necessarily design the store. We did work with people, but different designers helped us. It was quite a departure when we came here. Someone has designed all 3 shops in the stores. There are arches and tiles that mimic the shape of an ice cream cone. But I do feel like you can still see the similarities between the stores in California and New York. You know it is the same business.

How did you decide what the trucks were going to look like and and would you say those designs play into the stores?

I do think there is still reference to the first truck’s design in the store. The earlier trucks were pretty much a buttery-yellow that we found and loved. We wanted a timeless ‘40s-‘50s era ice cream truck with hubcaps. An old school and classic ice cream look.

What’s your favorite flavor? 

Pistachio has been one of my favorites and remains a favorite. Chocolate is a close second, but pistachio is still my favorite.


Untitled design
Courtesy of Scott Leon

Todays’ filter was inspired by the original buttery yellow truck, pastel color walls in the ice-cream shop in Culver City, and the woods of Pete’s home—I got to visit and have incorporated the photos into this post. The colors of this filter are cool pastels: pale pink (strawberry ), buttery light green (Sicilian pistachio), and a creamy yellow (lemon meringue yogurt tart). I love the idea of ice-cream flavored walls and light woods in a space. This design is minimalist with a lot of color flare.




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