History of Brics
A Bar Mitzvah can be a transformative experience for a young man. He reads from the Torah for the first time. He is officially considered an adult in the Jewish community. He celebrates with family and friends. For a lucky couple of Indy natives, he might also find his future business partner.
David Vonnegut-Gabovitch (yes, THAT'S Vonnegut… David’s wife is related to Kurt ) and David DuBow met each other at a Bar Mitzvah (they can’t quite remember whose it was) and have been friends since age 13. Throughout junior high, high school, college, and adulthood, they remained close friends. Five years ago, they wanted to enrich the community in which they’d grown up and loved for so many years, and established BRICS: Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station. Located in the original Broad Ripple train station on the Monon trail, BRICS was founded as a two-family venture hoping to provide many Indy families with delicious ice cream, sweet memories, and happy times. Mission Accomplished. Mazel Tov.
In five years, not much has changed from that original vision. BRICS is committed to being environmentally friendly and as sustainable as possible. That is not a light undertaking in an ice cream shop. All sample spoons are “real” metal spoons (saving all those plastic spoons), ice cream is served in a glass parfait dish, water is served in glasses; even their water fountain has an attachment to help runners, walkers and bikers fill their water bottles. Passion for community sustainability comes from Vonnegut-Gabovitch’s wife, but the entire establishment embraces the commitment. Their ice cream comes from Sherman Ice Cream, a hundred-year old company located in South Haven, Michigan. Deliveries are made fresh every week, and flavors are as reliable as they are different. There are always 24 permanent flavors and 12 rotating flavors. Sherman’s was an intentional and well-thought out pick. Many Hoosiers were familiar with the family-owned establishment from vacations on Lake Michigan, and Sherman’s delivers a delicious, quality product that is affordable for families. Affordability and sustainability have always been at the core of BRICS, and they’ve stayed true to their vision.
The Davids say one of the most rewarding parts of operating BRICS for the past five years has been watching families grow up. First dates became couples, couples got married, children have been born, and each year they value being a part of these families and the larger Broad Ripple family. “It’s great to be the place that people are excited to come to; happy to get a treat, enjoy an old building, and be recipients of wonderful service,” says DuBow. It’s easy to feel like family when you walk into BRICS. There are friendly smiles behind the counters, the employees circling with water glasses, a charming interior, and a deck filled with kids, adults, and puppies. For those of you with canines in the family, rest assured that they too can have a sweet treat from BRICS: a homemade ice cream treat for free!
If choosing the perfect ice cream is overwhelming, I highly encourage a split scoop of strawberry and chocolate choo-choo, the perfect combination of fruit and dark chocolate is amazing. The strawberry has real bits of fruit in it, making it a summer favorite for me. The dark chocolate is creamy, and isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, as some ice creams can be. It’s clear that real milk, real ingredients, and a lot of love goes into the ice cream. That’s one of the benefits of having Sherman’s as BRICS’ supplier. Their ice cream is all churned by hand, the same way it was established 100 years ago. For those of you whose eyes tend to be bigger than their stomachs, be warned that BRICS has a very generous definition of “one scoop”. Prepare yourself for a huge bowl of ice cream, no matter what flavor you choose. Other solid choices are grasshopper (mint with chocolate chip) or Monon tracks (vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream with peanut butter filled chocolate bits). For dairy-free patrons, BRICS offers coconut milk-based flavors and sherbet. Don’t let dietary restrictions keep you from enjoying a summer staple!
South Haven, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan between Holland and Benton harbor is renowned for its blueberries and tourists.
It is a lesser-known fact that South Haven is also where they make one of the finest eating ice creams around – Sherman’s. Grandpa Sherman started the business back in 1916. He had a small herd of dairy cattle and delivered milk with a horse drawn wagon from house to house around South Haven.
The business flourished through the years as Grandpa Sherman passed the business on to his son Rupert, who in turn passed it on to his boys. One of the boys, Port, always had it in his mind to make something good tasting that would make people happy – ice cream. So in the 50′s he started fiddling and fussing with an old ice cream batch freezer, trying to make the best ice cream around.
Port wanted an old-fashioned ice cream – not one too light or too greasy. He loaded it up with natural flavorings – no need to cheapen the product by using artificial flavors. After he got it just the way he wanted it, Port started selling it, first house to house, then to ice cream stores and finally grocery stores.
Meanwhile, Port bought out his brothers and stopped bottling milk stating confidently, “We’ll just make good ice cream.”
Sherman’s is made the old fashioned way – many flavors, still one batch at a time, without the help of huge high-tech equipment. The ice cream is loaded with flavorings – big strawberries in the Strawberry lots of pecans in the Butter Pecan, hunks of fudge in the Mackinac Island Fudge. Whenever possible, the products are naturally flavored. The quality of the nuts, candies, fruits and fudges that flavor our ice cream, sherbets and yogurts is always first consideration.
Our Environmentally Friendly Philosophy
brics is the fulfillment of a vision of its developers, all life-long Indianapolis residents. We feature nearly 40 hand-dipped flavors, homemade waffle cones, malts, shakes, sundaes. The menu also includes locally-roasted fair-trade coffees, teas and hot chocolate with a focus on environmentally sustainable practices.
We’re open year-round! You can cool off in the summer with any tasty treat, or warm up with a coffee or tea next to our cozy fireplace in the winter.
brics is located in the historic Monon Railway Station, built over a century ago and originally known as the Broad Ripple Station. While preserving the building’s historic character, brics features 21st century conveniences, including Wi-Fi, a water station for filling water bottles, and outdoor seating on a beautifully situated large deck that overlooks the Monon Trail.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
- Nonie and David Vonnegut-Gabovitch,
Jennifer and David DuBow