Beloved Brooklyn Ice Cream Chain Ample Hills Files for Bankruptcy

Beloved Brooklyn Ice Cream Chain Ample Hills Files for Bankruptcy
The first Ample Hills Creamery store located at 623 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights (Photo: BKLYNER)

Brooklyn-based ice-cream chain Ample Hills filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, March 15, raising questions about the fate of staff and plans to open a fourteenth location near Pavillion Theatre in Park Slope.

“We are taking the necessary next steps to preserve and ultimately bring Ample Hills into its next phase,” said a representative of the business. “We have learned a lot from our growth, and this is a strategic decision that allows us to course correct.”

Businesses use Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure, and almost always remain open while paying off their debt. Creditors and courts must approve Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans.

Ample Hills denies that this move is related to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a wave of layoffs and business closings as well as a massive downturn in the stock market.

“This decision was not brought on by the current Covid-19 pandemic,” said a representative of Ample Hills. “We are following all guidelines as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and NYC Department of Health to ensure the safety of our ‘Amployees’ and customers”

Ample Hills will remain open for takeout, unless guidelines or restrictions change.

Rendering of the planned 192 Prospect Park West location from Hidrock Properties

The bankruptcy filing comes after a period of rapid growth followed by setbacks.

Just last June, Ample Hills bought out the historic Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory location in Brooklyn Bridge Park. That same summer, they expanded to Los Angeles — their first foray into the West Coast.

To support their expansion, Ample Hills bought a factory along the Red Hook waterfront.

This January, the Los Angeles location closed — just 15 months after it opened.

Filing for bankruptcy represents another setback for the company.

Throughout this turbulent period, Ample Hills has planned to open a new storefront across from Prospect Park. The owners signed a lease in January of 2018.

It is unclear whether the bankruptcy will change these plans or lead to the closure of existing Ample Hills locations.