Will an Ice Cream Company Based on New York City's Serendipity Be Able to Compete Nationwide?

The iconic dessert restaurant will stretch its brand for the first time with packaged pints sold in 7-Eleven stores.

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By Stephen J. Bronner


How much does an iconic brand name matter when competing in a crowded category? The owners of New York City's famous Serendipity 3 -- which boasts of famous customers such as Andy Warhol, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey and featured heavily in a 2001 romantic comedy of the same name -- will find out.

Image credit: Serendipity

Late last year, the owners (a group of investors purchased the restaurant and its assets in 2018) of the 65-year-old dessert establishment introduced a line of ice cream pints to New York City 7-Eleven stores. Now, the products will be rolled out nationwide. Mark Smolin, CEO of Serendipity Brands, is banking on the brand's iconic status and "premium" ingredients to compete with the likes of Häagen-Daz and Ben & Jerry's.

Related: How This Food Startup Built Its Business by Avoiding Retail

"People want something new. They want to see a new brand and they want something that's going to last," he said. "That's the reason we think we're getting traction."

Serendipity Brands currently sells eight flavors, five of which are inspired by the New York City restaurant's dessert offerings, including Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. The other flavors are Strawberry Fields Sundae, Outrageous Banana Split, Birthday Cake, Forbidden Broadway Sundae, Café Espresso Chip, Humble Pie and Vanilla Vogue.

Smolin said the brand hopes to introduce other flavors and other formats, including single serve cups and bars, in the near future. In total, he said Serendipity products will soon be rolled out to more than 21,000 stores.

Stephen J. Bronner

Entrepreneur Staff

News Director

Stephen J. Bronner writes mostly about packaged foods. His weekly column is The Digest. He is very much on top of his email.

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