Growing up in Ballivor, Co. Meath, Ireland, Big Shane spent Irish summers with a 99 cone in hand (a.k.a. soft serve). Life didn’t get any sweeter. A trip across the pond and many years later, he meets Californian pastry chef and bartender, Sarah Pleitez while working in a bar in New York’s East Village. Being the ice cream enthusiast that he is, Big Shane asked Sarah to recreate his childhood favorite dessert: banana ice cream. Challenge accepted.
With over 15 years experience as a recipe developer and pastry chef, Sarah made banana ice cream look oh-so-easy to make. When Big Shane overheard a customer in the bar one day say that they needed custom ice cream for an event, he immediately responded, ‘I can get that for you.’ The rest, in a way, is ice cream history!
Big Shane and Sarah started creating Big Shane’s Ice Cream in early 2020.
The ice cream business took off and Big Shane’s Ice Cream gathered praise from everyone who tasted it. Sarah and Big Shane prepared for their launch party, spending hours sampling, mixing and perfecting Irish-inspired ice cream flavors until Covid-19 arrived in March 2021, cancelling the launch party and leaving them with a whole lot of pints of ice cream to sell and no party to sell them at.
Before the ice cream could even start to melt they were selling pints to friends and neighbors in Sunnyside, Queens and quickly shifted the business to where manufacturing looked like the obvious next step.
Just when Big Shane’s Ice Cream started to expand and take off in large-scale production in September 2020, Shane was diagnosed with Stage 3 testicular cancer. This slowed things down for a little while but as the saying goes, ‘it takes a village,’ and the community came together to support him before, during and after his treatment, keeping both Shane and Big Shane’s Ice Cream thriving and in healthy spirits.
So it’s been a bit of a journey and Big Shane’s has come a long way. They now offer nationwide shipping on all their pints. They work closely with wholesale clients in New York City, primarily selling to bars and cafés, while also working at pop-ups and special events with their trusty ice cream cart. Right now, the next step is finding the best location for a store front so stay tuned for more news coming soon.