How Coca-Cola Inspired the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Brand

When lawyers told the founder Churn wouldn't be a good name, he picked his own

Headshot of Chris Ariens

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream launched with $60,000 and a truck in 2008. Reinventing the ice cream truck was the way founder Ben Van Leeuwen expected his eponymous brand to grow.

Twelve years later, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream and its 35 flavors can be found in grocery stores, restaurants, resorts and in its own standalone shops in New York and Los Angeles, some of which have reopened following the lifting of stay-at-home orders. The trucks are still running, too.

In this week’s episode of I‘m With the Brand, Van Leeuwen tells Ian Wishingrad how his eponymous ice cream empire came to be, what he wanted it to symbolize and why his original idea for the name, Churn, was shot down by lawyers.

Editor: Josh Rios


@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.