A new local ice cream shop has now graced the Perkins Overpass with its colorful atmosphere and nostalgic batches of artisanal ice cream.
Gail’s thin ice cream officially opens on March 21 and with it comes 12 flavors of locally created ice cream, sundaes, shakes, waffles, toppings and coffee.
Co-owner Nick Hufft, who also co-owns The Overpass Merchant, Curbside Burgers, Junior’s on Harrison and the original Gail’s Fine Ice Cream in New Orleans with Lon Marchand, said the store will soon expand to 16 flavors and will potentially reach 20 or 24 flavors with additions to the roster coming seasonally.
Rachel Caprera, executive pastry chef at Hufft Marchand Hospitality, said the goal for their ice cream was to taste like memories while using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
“We started talking farm-to-table,” Caprera said. “How do you make all this really delicious food affordable and accessible to everyone.”
Included in the ice cream options is strawberry flavor, which is made from fresh strawberries from Ponchatoula, as well as the Cortado Crunch which uses infused beans from French Truck Coffee to achieve the espresso flavor.
“All the flavors are really balanced. There’s a fair amount of salt and butter in everything,” Caprera said.
Added to the nostalgic flavors are options like Little Monsters, which is tossed with Oreos and vanilla from Madagascar tinted electric blue, and Lemon Berry Ice Box Pie, which includes lemon curd, berry compote and graham crackers. All of their ice cream is blended with a high fat content, creating a rich, creamy texture.
“It’s supposed to be comfy and cozy and make you happy,” Hufft said. “All we hope is – when you leave after eating ice cream – that you will be happy.”
The shop’s design and decor also signals the dreamy innocence of the flavors. Bright blues and greens color the store while neon, gold and rainbow colored text with old-school fonts loudly advertise Gail’s Fine Ice Cream in the busy shopping Overpass district. The “Have a Gail’s” slogan is beautifully presented throughout the store.
“You walked into an environment that you value, where you’re comfortable, and knowing that you can always come back and have the same experience over and over and over again,” Hufft said of the store’s atmosphere. .
For Hufft, the biggest part of Baton Rouge is the Perkins Overpass neighborhood because it’s surrounded by great local businesses, bars, and restaurants, including his own Overpass Merchant.
Hufft explained that it was obvious for Gail’s to open there because the ice cream shop could be close to neighborhood families, college and high school students, and foot traffic from surrounding businesses.
“If you go to a nice restaurant in this neighborhood, we’d like to take you after and have a cup of ice cream,” Hufft said. “These restaurants provide people with great neighborhood experiences. We want that experience to translate into our ice cream for you.
Both Caprera and Hufft said they look forward to seeing what people think of their store and are excited to bring nostalgic ice cream to the Baton Rouge community.
“There’s not much in the restaurant business that I think makes people as happy as ice cream,” Hufft said.