Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Days!

These are exciting days for Three Twins Ice Cream. Our factory's open, we're making great ice cream, shipping it out and getting placements in an ever greater number of stores.

Whole Foods Markets in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest began to roll out Three Twins Ice Cream last week, with reports from my older brother Mark, who lives up there, of Three Twins at the Bellevue, WA and Seattle Denny stores. Northern California began placing 3T in their stores as of yesterday. My co-worker/partner/right hand man/left hand man Scott and I went to see Three Twins with our own eyes today at the grand opening of Whole Foods Novato. It's a beautiful store, that despite being packed with folks grazing on the free organic cheese and tahini slaw, is really well laid out with lots of room, especially around the oft stressful prepared food are. Here's a pic of me taken by Joe Rogoff, who is VP of the Whole Foods Norcal Region and friend of Three Twins, as I squat next to my pride and joy. Word on the street is that it's going to move to a higher shelf, so there won't be a need to squat for the next photo.

We've also been getting ready for a periodic event that we do very much love, which is the shipment of a pallet of 100 bulk food service tubs of organic ice cream for Karma Cream in Gainesville, Florida, which scoops our organic ice cream and a selection of vegan stuff.....

Karma Cream
1025 West University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 326001
(352) 505-6566

We also had some visitors at the plant today, our friends Jen and Bailie, who stopped by while getting some pepper seeds at the Seed Bank in downtown Petaluma. I know Bailie from my beloved Fatted Calf (, which is quite possibly the finest charcuterie (spellcheck, that is in fact a word, as in a place where unprecedented savory deliciousness in the form of sausage, pates, cured meats and other delights are created and sold) in all the land. Bailie runs the kitchen, where she was most recently making a big batch of head cheese! It is not the best picture of the cute couple, as I was shivering in our -20F tomb....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Three Twins Ice Cream Opens World's Largest Organic Ice Cream Factory

Although it started as a single, 580-square-foot ice cream shop in a remote Terra Linda shopping center without any employees because as the Founding Twin, I acknowledge, 'I couldn’t afford any,' Three Twins Ice Cream is becoming an unlikely leader in the rapidly growing domestic organic ice cream market. Already the first and largest chain of organic ice cream shops with three company owned-stores, Three Twins opened a 4,200 square-foot dedicated organic ice cream factory in Petaluma last month that is allowing the company to exponentially increase its production while lowering its cost and make ice cream of an even higher quality in a greater number of flavors. No larger dedicated facility for the production of organic ice cream exists in the world.

Three Twins has gained much fanfare in the Bay Area since its first ice cream shop opened in August 2005; an untimely opening just days before summer ended and schools reopened. The first year, after the euphoria of opening one’s own business rapidly faded and the reality of volunteering 90+ hours per week for oneself set in, was extremely difficult, but I knew that Three Twins would grow beyond those limiting walls and get its inconceivably delicious ice cream to the world.

Prior to opening the factory, Three Twins consisted of its San Rafael, Napa and San Francisco scoop shops as well as a thriving foodservice and farmers’ market business, pints for groceries and a recently added online store. While the online store only accounts for a small part of Three Twins' business, I recently fulfilled an online order for a billionaire in Boston who purchased '100 Pints Personally Delivered' for the grandiose sum of $3,333.33.

The new plant is allowing Three Twins to produce its own organic ice cream from raw inputs, which was previously not a possibility at the two retail stores. Instead of buying finished ice cream mix through a local distributor, the company is now producing its own mix for a fraction of that cost. The factory also affords the company economies of scale in purchasing packaging and ingredients. The result is that Three Twins is able to reduce the average price of its pints in grocery stores from $5.99 to $4.49-$4.99 and partner with a distributor that is making Three Twins Ice Cream available up and down the West Coast. Whole Foods Market began rolling out Three Twins Ice Cream at its Washington, Oregon and California stores last week, as did dozens of other independent and chain stores.

The opening of the factory is the next step in building a significant national brand of inconceivably delicious ice cream that appeals not only to the organic consumer, but also to the wider group of individuals with taste buds.

Still, growth does not come without its challenges. While this is a very exciting time for the company, we’re a bit lean after paying for and starting up the factory and would benefit from additional equity investments in the coming months. The company has raised over $2 million in the last three years from friends, family, customers and outside investors.

Founding Twin