Long known for its beautiful pastries, gooey chocolate chip cookies, and variety of breads, Clear Flour in Brookline has its sights set on something that won’t come hot out of the bakery’s ovens: ice cream. Owners Jon Goodman and Nicole Walsh, who recently took over the business, spent several months on research and experimentation and will soon sell the frozen treat.
“It will be sold exclusively in pints in our retail freezer, designed to complement our existing pastry product line to form a complete dessert,” Goodman tells Eater. “The flavors will range from wild and fun to classic and simple.”
Customers can look out for classics like vanilla bean, garden mint, and Valrhona chocolate, plus experimental flavors that may incorporate some of Clear Flour’s pastries, like Meyer lemon creme fraiche or kouign amann. The adventurous flavors will rotate every week.
The bakery will finalize pricing soon and plans to have the retail fridge stocked with pints in the next week, in time for Father’s Day. While Clear Flour won’t be able to offer scoops of ice cream or distribution of the pints, it will sell ice cream sandwiches.
“Our goal, really, is just treating it as an add-on and enhancement to our existing line of desserts,” Goodman said.
“We think it’s going to be a really exciting project because our success as a bakery doesn’t ride on the success of this experiment, so we can afford to take chances,” Goodman said, anticipating that while some flavors would be hits, others may not land as well. “One of the reasons Clear Flour is so special is for 35 years we’ve made whatever it is that we think is good or interesting or just something we wanted to try. That spirit of exploration and freedom will really lend itself to creating something really cool when applied to ice cream,” Goodman said.
That said, Goodman’s own favorite flavor is as traditional as it gets: vanilla.
Another summer development for Clear Flour is the opening of a parklet, taking up two parking spaces outside the bakery and offering customers a place to sit and snack. The community space will be open through October, with floral planters, tables, and chairs.
“It will be a public owned space where the community can get together and enjoy the neighborhood,” Goodman said. “We’ve always wished there was a space for customers to sit and enjoy their pastries outside our store; now it’s a reality.”
While Clear Flour is paying most of the costs associated with the parklet, Goodman and Walsh are running a GoFundMe campaign to help fund improvements to it.