40 years of business, 40 years of favorites
Summer in Boston has involved J.P. Licks for decades. And this year, the local ice cream brand is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Since opening its doors at the original location in its namesake Jamaica Plain in 1981, the shops have faithfully served customers craft house-made ice cream. Known for their unique and seasonal flavors, J.P. Licks will appropriately kick off summer 2021 with some throwbacks, as well as with some new creations for ice cream lovers to try.
For new treats, they’re introducing a fresh line of ice cream cakes. For classics, look out for the re-release of their “One Sweet World Series,” which has a coffee ice-cream base with Heath Bar chunks and caramel swirled throughout. They originally launched the flavor in 2004 when the Red Sox “reversed the curse” and won the World Series for the first time since 1918. It’s only fitting that they bring back such a flavor that marked a bold new era for Boston, and during a summer following a year-plus- long pandemic.
“Over the last 40 years there have been many customer favorites that have been discontinued,”said J.P. Licks Director of Operations Kimberly Diaz. “And over the years we have seen many new favorites emerge, with many of them having Cookies ‘n’ Cream pieces added in. We are excited to celebrate with our customers by surprising them with some flavors from the vault and a few more new ones throughout our anniversary year.”
The new line of ice cream cakes feature a real-cake center. They are calling them Cake & Ice Cream Cake, as in, “Now you can have cake with your ice cream!”
Like a lot of other local businesses, J.P. Licks was hard hit during the pandemic. Last spring, typically the start of the busy season, business was down 75%. By the end of 2020, things had slowly come back, but sales were still about 22% down.
Owner Vincent Petryk is hopeful that his team will see an uptick this summer and into the future. There are currently 17 J.P. Licks locations throughout Mass employing up to 375 people during summer months, while also shipping coffee and merch across the country.
“J.P. Licks opened its doors in 1981 at a much smaller location in Jamaica Plain than where we are headquartered now, it was a 500 square-foot shop with just enough room in the basement for our freezer and ice cream machine,” Petryk said. “I’m very proud of this business and excited to celebrate with our customers new and old. What I love most about running this company is the magical power of ice cream and how it can change a person’s mood almost instantly.
“I hope we can continue to do that for 40 more years.”
J.Q. Louise is a food and travel writer based in Boston. Join her 100,000+ followers on Instagram @jqlouise and on her blog at https://jqlouise.com.