Amy’s in ‘Da Hood.

Amy's Ice Cream is an Austin favorite  ©2006 ACVB Photo

Amy's Ice Creams is an Austin favorite ©2006 ACVB Photo

“Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!” the motto of Amy’s Ice Creams, one of the best ice cream places around.

Amy Miller, founder of Amy's Ice Cream

Amy Miller, founder of Amy's Ice Cream

Amy’s was started by Amy Miller in 1984. She was a pre-med student at Tufts University, and also worked at an ice-cream parlor called Steve’s Ice Cream. Amy decided to open up her own place, and after scouting trips to numerous sites, she fell in love with Austin and opened shop here!
She and her partner wrote a hot check for the original Guadalupe location, and has been an Austin favorite ever since.

Amy’s has been voted the best Readers Ice Cream by the Austin Chronicle 8 years in a row now, and also has been voted Best Neon numerous times. Currently, there are 13 more locations throughout Austin, with 1 in Houston and 1 in San Antonio.

Amy’s has over 300 flavors, and every single one I’ve tasted until now has been delicious.
What’s really great about Amy’s and makes it unique, though, is their great employees.

Many employees of Amy’s will do “tricks” with the ice cream as they prepare it and before the customer receives it. These tricks include things like throwing ice cream scoops under the leg, behind the back, and over people. Some locations are known for throwing ice cream across the street, where either the recipient or another employee will attempt to catch it. Crazy fun, huh?

Example of an application for Amy's Ice Creams.

Example of an application for Amy's Ice Creams.

To find these unique and creative people, Amy’s has a special application process.
The paper application is a white paper bag. The only requirements are to write a name and contact information somewhere on the application. Applicants are encouraged to be creative and applications have included decorated bags, short stories, and videos placed in the bag. The bag does not have to remain intact; some applications have included only portions of the bag, puppets made from the bag, or the remains of a bag (ashes). The end product does not need to resemble the original bag.

As a result, the employees of Amy’s are truly amazing, and they are the reason why Amy’s has such a fun, quirky vibe that fits Austin so well.

Below is a video of the tricks they do. The video did an awesome job of capturing the spirit of Amy’s. You should definitely watch it. They do some pretty cool stuff! 🙂



10 Responses to “Amy’s in ‘Da Hood.”

  1. 1 Caitlin W November 24, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Thanks for posting that video! I know Walt, he’s great:) He actually isn’t working at Amy’s anymore, but they are really awesome at those tricks! It makes ice cream that much sweeter (pardon the pun!!)

  2. 2 Brittany November 24, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I absolutely LOVE the Amy’s application process – I think other businesses could learn from this in having someone show their talents right off the bat. So cool.

  3. 3 jeffbechdel November 25, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Jane–my goodness, what an informative post! I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much about a place I’ve been to (often!).

    And you’re right Brittany. Although I haven’t read it yet, supposedly in Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat,” he talks about jobs that will stick around in America and jobs that will be outsourced. Obviously many of the service industries are going to stick around (because people will always need their hair to be cut, etc.), and so his recommendation for employees is to personalize–make it unthinkable for customers to go to that restaurant or business without “Employee X.”

    For a practical example, think of “the Wendy’s guy” at the Union, Junior. I think personalization could apply to journalism as well… and I actually might write my final paper on this!

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