Episode 58 – Interview with Three Twins Ice Cream Founder Neal Gottlieb
April 25, 2012
I scream, you scream, we all scream for (organic, fair trade, unique, delicious) ice cream!
Neal discusses the life path that led him from corporate finance to ice cream, with a stint in the Peace Corps along the way. When he founded Three Twins, he was determined to build a company that honored his values, as well as offering him a reasonable living.
According to Neal, organic ice cream has been done before, but not well. The early attempts from some of the bigger names on the ice cream scene typically made organic varieties in boring flavors (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry) and saw it as an opportunity to sell smaller containers while charging more money than for their conventional flavors.
By contrast, the Three Twins model puts organic at the core of the product, rather than as an afterthought. In addition to using basic organic ingredients, Three Twins concentrates on building up multiple flavor layers in its ice creams for surprising twists on classics. An increasing number of Three Twins’ flavors are using certified Fair Trade products as well.
Bill and Neal discuss what it means for a business like Three Twins to obtain USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade certified designations. They also discuss the company’s corporate giving initiatives, which include membership in 1% for the Planet and their new giving initiative “Ice Cream for Acres.” Through the Ice Cream for Acres program, Three Twins makes a donation to Global Wildlife Conservation, an environmental nonprofit that buys large tracks of land to protect habitat for endangered species. For each one pint purchase, Three Twins donates enough money to buy at least six square feet of land. To date, the company has underwritten the purchase of 100 square acres and they expect they’ll be able to facilitate the purchase of thousands of acres in the next few years with their anticipated growth.
Where can you find these delicious sweet treats? On the East Coast you can find them in Whole Foods (except in New York and New Jersey) and Fresh markets. On the West Coast, they currently have a larger footprint in Whole Foods, neighborhood corner bodegas, and some conventional grocery stores. But perhaps the most fun you’ll have is if you’re lucky enough to encounter the “pimped out” ice cream truck (which is really a refurbished school bus) known affectionately as “Carl.”
Listen to the interview with Neal Gottlieb: Episode 58 of The Wendel Forum (27:20 mins; mp3)
Three Twins Ice Cream website : www.threetwinsiceream.com
Global Wildlife Conservation website: http://globalwildlife.org/
1% for the Planet website: http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/
960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com
Bill Acevedo’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/wacevedo