The Ampersand Ice Cream truck makes a recent appearance at Gazebo Gardens in Fresno.
Written by Edward Smith
Ampersand Ice Cream is hoping to open a new location in northwest Fresno by the end of October, according to owner Amelia Bennett.
The approximately 1,800 square-foot space at the northeast corner of Herndon and Marks avenues will employ up to 20 more people and increase ice cream production for the trendy ice cream shop.
Bennett thinks the proximity to younger families will be a boon to the business that has become ubiquitous at events around Fresno with its food trucks and catering options.
Next door to a Togo’s and the Starbucks, Bennett and her husband Jeff had been thinking about a location near there for some time.
“The ice cream demographic is perfect for us,” said Bennett. “There are a ton of homes within walking distance.”
The new location, with its more modern infrastructure, will give Bennett the energy she needs to run the freezers and ice cream makers for the almost 17 hours a day that they do at their current location near Fresno High School. She anticipates being able to triple production.
“What the new location is going to give us is literally more power,” Bennett said. “We need to make that more efficient in terms of labor cost and energy.”
Ampersand Ice Cream mixes all of its own dairy, sugar and eggs to make nearly 140 gallons a week of ice cream. The machines are fired up at at 6 a.m. and run all the way to 11 p.m. The 16 flavors available, six of which rotate change monthly, need freezers to stay cool. That’s on top of everyday energy needs like lights and cash registers.
“Every summer we seem to blow a circuit,” Bennett said.
With the increased production coming from northwest Fresno, they’ll be able to ease up a lot of the demand at the location at Echo and Weldon avenues, which will still be their home base.
Before the decision to move, Bennett said it would have been hard to expand.
“We think Fresno has embraced us so far and it’s time to take the next step,” she said.