OK. What we’re going to say now is going to sound like something from All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, but it’s true: What’s inside is what matters most.
Ever since Jeni made every ice cream and pinted every ice cream herself behind the dipping cabinet in the North Market, “What’s inside is what matters most” has always been our mantra. We’ve never wavered from it and never will. Making sure that what’s inside matters most is why we recently achieved certified B Corporation status, which signifies that our company meets the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
That is why, a little down the line, when you reach for our pints in grocery store freezers and our scoop shops, when you see them in all their glory on our website, we want you to know that you’ll be looking at the same containers with the same so-good-it’s-ridiculous ice cream inside—but with a different sort of label.
Hand-writing the names of all the flavors on our pints has been one of our trademarks. We love the way a handwritten label looks. It’s subdued flair, if you will. But, handwriting each label comes at a cost—a cost not measured in dollars and cents, but rather a cost to our company culture.
Writing the name of a flavor on a pint is novel and can be fun at first, but we currently spend more than 15,000 hours per year handwriting labels. We’re certain that our kitchen team members will be happier when they arrive at work knowing that they will be fully engaged in the making of the actual ice cream every day rather than writing the names of flavors on pint containers.
Now we can’t compare handwriting labels to some sort of repetitive, dangerous, Upton Sinclairian slaughterhouse hell, but we can compare it to something along the lines of high school detention. The 100th or so time you write Brambleberry Crisp on a pint begins to feel like writing “I will not chew gum in algebra class” on a chalk board until your hand falls off.
So, we’re transitioning from handwritten pint labels to custom labels printed in-house using a variety of samples from our professional handwriting crew. This will drastically reduce the number of black Sharpie markers we use, but most important it will raise the spirits of all in our kitchen who spend lots of time writing Brambleberry Crisp over and over and over.
What’s inside is what matters most and it always will, but every detail—from fonts to flavor names—will always matter a lot to us, too.