NEW YORK, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — New York-based venture capital firm Blue Scorpion Investments L.P. (“BSI”) is the first investor for Brooklyn-born Artisan Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen, a popular chain of ice cream shops in New York and Los Angeles that offer vegan options and first began out of an infamous buttery-yellow truck in 2008. Since then, Van Leeuwen has grown to over 18 locations on the East and West coast and is aiming to be in all fifty states by 2020. The ice cream has been claimed as a favorite and seen in the hands of many celebrities, including: Bella Hadid, The Weekend, Jared Leto, Natalie Portman, Leonardo Dicaprio, Ariana Grande and Bria Vinaite.
“We are excited about Van Leeuwen as we saw a huge opportunity for growth as the name has quickly become a beloved ice cream brand, especially as the vegan ice cream trend grows in popularity. We have been looking to invest in the vegan ice cream space for a while and after reviewing the competitive landscape, we decided Van Leeuwen’s products and business model were the most solid,” said Gautam Ahuja, General Partner of BSI.
BSI has become one of the most highly sought-after venture capital firms due to its creative vision and VIP network of co-investors. BSI also has early-stage investments in Quip, Thursday Boots, Smilo Baby, Eight Sleep, Hooch, The Game Agency and Back to the Roots.
“I have always loved Van Leeuwen Ice Cream from when I first discovered their truck in the summer 10 years ago parked outside the Apple store in Soho. I have been a massive fan of the brand and became an even bigger fan once I met co-founders Ben, Pete and Laura and saw their authentic passion for creating the best ice cream in both dairy and vegan flavors. I was so impressed with their dedication, talent and bond as a family. I love their authenticity for the brand and using their family name—Van Leeuwen— it’s such a great name. It was clear their vision and passion for the brand would make them great partners, and we also recognized immense global potential for the brand,” said Jamison Ernest, General Partner of BSI.
BSI has secured other high-profile investors for Van Leeuwen, including Victoria’s Secret model Roosmarijn de Kok; billionaire Chris Burch; influencer Luka Sabbat; co-founder of Tao Group Noah Tepperberg; the investment arm of Beautiful Destinations; and Shun Lee Group, the operating and investment partner of Lady M in China.
Van Leeuwen currently has stores in NYC, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles, including: Boerum Hill, East Village, Greenpoint, Lower East Side, Nolita, Seaport, Soho, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, West Village, Williamsburg, Greenwich Village (coming soon), Prospect Heights (coming soon), the newly opened Hudson Yards, Culver City, Franklin Village, Silver Lake, The Arts District, as well as several LA-based Trucks.
About Van Leeuwen
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream was launched out of a buttery yellow ice cream truck in 2008 by Laura O’Neill and brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen. The trio set out to revive the classic American ice cream truck, using exceptional ingredients and techniques. In just a decade, the beloved Brooklyn-based company has grown to include scoop shops and trucks across NYC and LA and sells pints in over 700 stores across 25 states. Van Leeuwen makes ice cream from scratch using fresh milk and cream, lots of organic eggs yolks and pure cane sugar. Their unwavering dedication to quality extends to every ingredient for each flavor; add-ins are made in-house, and fruits, nuts and chocolates are carefully sourced from purveyors like Michel Cluizel Chocolate, Askinosie Chocolate, Kettl Matcha, and others whose standard for exceptional quality meets their own. In addition to classic ice cream, Van Leeuwen makes an acclaimed vegan ice cream using a proprietary blend of cashews, coconuts and cocoa butter, which is every bit as delicious as their classic ice cream. Favorites in their lineup include Vegan Choc Chip Cookie Dough, made with a touch of Tahitian vanilla, a pinch of sea salt, chunks of cookie dough made from locally milled flour and generous amounts of single origin chocolate chips, and Honeycomb, with a crispy, chewy house-made candy folded into a sweet cream base with ribbons of caramel.
About Blue Scorpion Investments
BSI invests primarily in consumer-facing businesses, specifically consumer electronics; disruptive technologies; shared economy; single and multi-platform applications; beauty, cosmetics and accessories; retail, fashion/lifestyle brands; and beverages and packaged foods. The firm’s primary objective is to create significant shareholder value by bringing a combination of creative, marketing and financial resources into active partnerships with owners and management teams of early stage high-growth companies.
SOURCE Blue Scorpion Investments