Princeton ice cream shop overhauls their business model to keep going

Published April 13, 2020


As COVID-19 spread across the U.S., the owners of The Bent Spoon, a popular ice cream shop on Princeton’s Palmer Square, knew immediately that they would have to close their shop. But that didn’t mean throwing in the towel. 

As Planet Princeton reports, instead Gabrielle Carbone and Matt Errico overhauled their business plan. They had to take an often-crowded 700-foot shop and convert into an online business practically overnight.  

“As a business model, it’s really difficult,” said Carbone. “But as a small business, we have to be able to adjust.”  

They cleverly set up ways for customers to place orders at 4:00 PM each day for next-day delivery via Instagram, Facebook and their website. Thanks to their quick and thoughtful plan, The Bent Spoon didn’t have to furlough their employees who now stay busy making pints of ice cream, cupcakes, cookies and hot chocolate.  

Their business is only making 20 percent of their previous volume, but they are buoyed by the community support they’re receiving. 

“We are getting notes and orders for gift cards from all over the country,” said Carbone. “The ways in which people can care for each other has been shown to us over and over again. The community has really supported us; we are all in this together.”

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