Did you make a career change due to the COVID 19 pandemic? Jessica and Alex Wood did—and Brookside is better off for it! Their new ice cream shop is called French Custard.
Pre pandemic, the Woods were living in Manhattan NYC; the couple had their own e- commerce clothing line, Discourse NYC. Jessica says they always like to “make our own stuff: we bake our own bread, make our own pizza, we ferment stuff” so when COVID hit and they reassessed priorities, the pair moved to Kansas City (where they are both from) and decided to make their own ice cream. “It was a COVID project” Jessica explains, “we love French custard ice cream, which is very popular in New York. There are so many artisan ice cream shops there and we missed being able to walk to our favorite spot for a treat”. Alex’s grandmother found an old 1980s ice cream maker in her basement (complete with instructions on a video cassette!!) and they started experimenting. They gave samples to friends, hosted several pop ups and based on the enthusiastic response, decided to open a storefront.
There are two different styles of ice cream, Jessica explains. The “Philadelphia style” is most common in the US—this style does not use eggs and does use a lot of stabilizers for consistency. Jessica and Alex prefer the French custard style, which uses only eggs, milk, cream, and sugar— no other additives. You can really tell the difference too: French Custard tastes very natural, fresh, and clean—rich and smooth with that special homemade burst of flavor. All of their ice cream is made in the back of the store and the flavors change often. Right now their best selling scoop is Salted Caramel Pretzel; other flavors include Brookside Butter Pecan, Fruity Pebbles, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Churro, Cookies and Cream and French Vanilla. Alex and Jessica also have quite a few collaborations going on with other local businesses; Heirloom Bakery sells their ice cream during their Wednesday Summer happy hour and Bacaro Primo (Italian restaurant in the Crestwood Shops) features French Custard ice cream on their menu.
Alex and Jessica live in Brookside, within walking distance of the store. “We are so excited to be open in Brookside; this is where we wanted to be. We feel we have something very special to add to the flavor of Brookside” says Jessica. “Everyone here is so very nice and helpful; French custard ice cream shops in NYC are very, very competitive. Here, it’s a very friendly atmosphere”.
French Custard is currently open Tuesday/Wed/Thursday from 2pm-9pm; Fridays from 2-10pm; Saturday noon-10pm and Sunday noon-9pm. French Custard is located at 5905 Main St, along the Trolley Track Trail in the Morningside Shops. Treat yourself soon!