A Brooklyn-Based Ice Cream Brand Embraces the Avant Garde | The Slowdown - Culture, Nature, Future
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Bad Habit’s Negroni ice cream. (Courtesy Bad Habit)
Bad Habit’s Negroni ice cream. (Courtesy Bad Habit)

At the start of a new year, many of us vow to resist guilty pleasures. This is not the case with the aptly named Brooklyn-based ice cream brand Bad Habit, which encourages a strategic embrace of such indulgences.

Gorging on ice cream, in fact, is what led restaurant-industry veterans Javier and Jesse Zuñiga to co-found the company last year. “One night, after a particularly long workday in February 2021,” Jesse says, “we were home on our couch eating ice cream out of a tub—as had become ritual—when one of us offhandedly threw out the idea of making ice cream ourselves.” Within an hour, the duo had a name, a logo, and a sizable list of flavors they wanted to make. Weeks later, on March 1, they officially launched their cheekily named frozen-food venture.

Bad Habit churns out flavors that eschew the expected, including Sweet Corn, Negroni, Cara Cara Creamsicle, and Brown Butter. Seasonal offerings, like Spiced Hot Chocolate and Coffee with Almond Caramel, also cycle through. Each 16-ounce cup is made using real, fresh ingredients. Pints can be purchased for pick-up in Bushwick, for delivery in Manhattan and Brooklyn, or in select stores, listed online, including at sommelier, winemaker, and entrepreneur André Hueston Mack’s & Sons Buttery in Brooklyn’s Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood.

Unconventional flavors aside, the couple’s key to innovation lies in their affinity for the avant garde. “We didn’t set out to make a product to satisfy absolutely everyone, and we don’t make ice cream to have something cute to put sprinkles on,” Jesse says. “We make ice cream that we believe in—that we would want to eat.”

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