“French-style” Van Leeuwen Ice Cream shop to open 3 Boston-area locations

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BOSTON – There’s no shortage of great ice cream shops in Massachusetts. But Van Leeuwen, a popular chain out of New York with over 50 stores, is coming to the Boston area this year and promises something a little more gourmet than your standard scoop. 

Three locations will open in 2024. One is set to open on Boylston Street in early April at The Street Chestnut Hill, another is coming to 131 Seaport Blvd. in the summer, and the third will be in Harvard Square this fall.

“Rich, chewy, creamy” ice cream

Co-founder and CEO Ben Van Leeuwen says his “French-style” ice cream uses far more egg yolks than the competition.

“You’re getting a really rich, chewy, creamy thick product,” he told WBZ-TV. “It’s made that way with just cream and eggs.”

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

The shop has made headlines for creative concoctions like macaroni and cheese-flavored ice cream, but Van Leeuwen said he’s focused on getting good ingredients like chocolate from Ecuador, and vanilla that was rated among the best on the market by Wirecutter. There’s also non-dairy ice cream options for vegans, made with coconut cream.

Van Leeuwen said the ice cream sells for about $7 a scoop. They will also be serving up sundaes, milkshakes and root beer floats.

“Sure, it’s more expensive than Baskin-Robbins,” Van Leeuwen acknowledged – but he says customers are willing to pay for a higher quality product.   

Why Van Leeuwen is coming to Boston

Why the expansion into Boston and Cambridge? Van Leeuwen said walkability was a draw.

“There aren’t many places in the U.S. that have really good foot traffic where people are actually walking around,” he told WBZ-TV. “One of them is Boston.”

Van Leeuwen says he got started in the ice cream business by driving a Good Humor truck back in his high school days in Greenwich, Connecticut. He’s come a long way from handing out chocolate eclair and SpongeBob Squarepants bars.

“I love food, I love ingredients,” he said. “I want to do something that can be done at almost the highest level, but still accessible to all.”

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