Small Business Spotlight: Eat Me Ice Cream

August 12, 2019 09:16 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- If you believe food should be fun and imaginative, then Eat Me Ice Cream is your kind of dessert.

Co-owners Amber Odhner and Catelyn Augustine are establishing themselves locally as artists in the field of ice cream.


"We are a super-premium ice cream company that focuses on taste as a gateway to discovery," said Odhner.

They've built a business based on their life-long friendship, inspired by the desire to explore their creativity by imagining new combinations and flavors of ice cream.

"And we were really interested in art and funky flavors and taste experiences," explained Odhner. "So that was the initial seed to where Eat Me was born."

They're admittedly a little bit quirky ... as you can tell by their website. But when it comes to ice cream, they're all business.

They offer dairy and non-dairy varieties and source many of their ingredients from the Rochester Public Market. Working out of a small kitchen space in the Hungerford building in the city, you could say this is a "hands-on" business -- from hand-filling pints to hand-dipping ice cream bars and hand-writing the labels. 

Brett Davidsen: "What makes your product unique?"

Catelyn Augustine: "We've always, from the beginning in 2011, offered a vegan, non-dairy option. That was kind of part of our innovation and foresight as artists, seeing that coming and seeing that in the food world. Also, the funky flavors."

Oh, and those flavors...combinations of ingredients you might never expect to taste in a pint of ice cream. We sampled a nacho cheese ice cream with jalapeno jam.

Brett Davidsen: "What would people be surprised to find that they can get in an ice cream?"

Amber Odhner: "Must try flavor is our curry, cashew and crystallized ginger, chunked through our coconut milk base."

Catelyn Augustine: "We have lavender, which has always been a flavor that we've done in dairy and dairy-free. And right now it's one of our top movers in our grocery stores."

The duo started Eat Me in 2011, selling their ice cream at local farmer's markets and restaurants. About three years ago, they began selling to smaller specialty stores.

Right now, they're shipping up to 3,600 pints per week. But that's expected to grow because two months ago, they launched their products in the natural section of Wegmans stores.

Brett Davidsen: "How satisfying was it when you went to Wegmans and they said yes?"   

Catelyn Augustine: "It was great. I mean, it was very satisfying. All the hard work paid off and they're a great local partner."

Augustine and Odhner say they are continuing to target grocery chains and building the business. And about that name? It's actually a reference to Alice in Wonderland.

"Which is also about play and imagination -- flipping logic upside down. So eat me, drink me is part of Alice's gateway and experience in the Wonderland. So that's where Eat Me comes from," said Odhner.

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Brett Davidsen

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