Barely six years ago, Doug Quint was a concert bassoonist and his partner Bryan Petroff was in corporate human resources. On a dare, they rehabbed an ice cream truck. As a joke, they called it Big Gay Ice Cream until they could figure out a real name.
But it stuck, the public clamored, unicorns and rainbows came into play, celebs stopped up to the window for its specialty soft-serve, and - BOOM.
It became a thing.
Now with two stores in Manhattan and one on the way in Los Angeles, they opened in Philadelphia. It's on the ground floor of SouthStar at Broad and South Streets, next door to Juniper Commons, and in the Gayborhood. (The address is 521 S. Broad St., but that will lead you around the corner.)
Quint and Petroff also, by coincidence, have a Big Gay Ice Cream book, and the guys used its April 28 publishing date as an excuse to visit for a booksigning at Juniper Commons, where chef/owner Kevin Sbraga lobbed questions at them and they replied with anecdotes.
Sample: "A guy came up and asked if we had anything nonfat," Quint said. "'Yes, I told him. A T-shirt.'" They have no qualms about using fat in ice cream.
It was a true Philadelphia welcome. Two hours and perhaps two minutes into their visit, their car was ticketed on South Street for overtime parking.
The Philly Big Gay Ice Cream, done up in white subway tile offset by bright color panels, sells cups/cones ($3.50 and up), sundaes ($6.20 and up), and shakes ($6.13 and $7.08). Big Gay offers the chance to "line" the inside of the cone with peanut butter, Biscoff, or Nutella. Two of the more popular specialty cones are the Salty Pimp (vanilla, dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate chips, $5.90) and the Bea Arthur (vanilla, dulce de leche,crushed Nilla wafers for $5.28).