Who is Leona?

Leona’s was inspired by our spunky dog, Leona, who came into our hearts in 2012 at the spry age of 10. Despite her rough past, she was quite the classy older lady. While we were creating our company, she was a constant source of inspiration (and a darn good taste tester). Every day she brought us joy and we hope that our ice cream brings you a little bit of the happiness Leona brought to us.


How did leona's ice cream get started?

After working in public relations for years, Katie decided to make a change from promoting food brands to creating food. When she and Christa received an ice cream maker as a wedding gift, the whole idea of Leona’s was set in motion. Excited by the gift, Katie was also a little sad. She’s lactose intolerant and hadn’t been able to eat ice cream for a long time. Rather than dwell, she went to work. After a solid year of testing flavors and recipes, a stint at culinary school and the famous Ice Cream Short Course at Penn State, Leona’s Ice Cream came to market as a 100% real dairy ice cream treat that was also 100% lactose free. The couple started in the back of a coffee shop in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh and now distribute to more than 50 locations around the Pittsburgh metro area.


What makes your ice cream different?

Beyond interesting flavors and combinations, our ice cream is 100% real dairy and 100% lactose-free, so every belly can enjoy. With the help of a natural enzyme, we break down the lactose that more than 60% of the US population has trouble digesting. This process doesn’t change the taste, texture or quality of the ice cream. So it’s just as creamy and delicious as you’d expect super premium ice cream to taste.


how many flavors do you have?

So many. We are curious bakers and flavor fanatics. Everyone who works at Leona’s brings their unique experiences with flavor to the table and then we play. All told, we have made over 50 different flavors of sandwiches. We don’t make all 50 at once, though! Our flavors follow seasonal cycles. Think strawberry in early spring, hot chocolate in winter, berries in high summer. We offer about 10 to 15 different flavors at once and they showcase the best of the season.

You can find Leona’s at more than 50 different restaurants, breweries, shops, and grocery stores in the Pittsburgh area. Here is a list of all of them. Our retail locations receive an assortment of the sandwiches we making at any given moment, so you might want to call your local Leona’s provider to check what flavors they have.


can i buy a scoop of leona's?

We don’t have a scoop shop… yet. For now, here is a list of restaurants, breweries, grocery stores, and shops where you can find Leona’s. Some of these locations carry sandwiches, some carry pints, some carry both, and some make an affogato (espresso poured over vanilla ice cream, that’s right). Stay tuned, though, because we’ve always got ideas churning away...


How do i eat a leona's?

Any way you want. The cleanest way to eat your ice cream sandwich is to hold the sandwich so the flaps are on the top and bottom, peel off the round sticker holding the paper closed and rip the paper so it tears in half all the way around the sandwich. You will end up with a little nest for your sandwich that will catch drips and keep your fingers from getting sticky.


Do you only have ice cream sandwiches?

No way! You can enjoy our ice cream by the pint, too. We always offer some of our classic flavors—Fresh Mint Chocolate, Lavender and Honeycomb Candy, Coffee, Vanilla, Cinnamon Oatmeal Lace, to name a few—and we mix it up with seasonal pints. We’ve made Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate Peppermint Bark for winter holidays, Cucumber Orange Blossom for the spring and late winter we dig into Bourbon Cherry Chocolate to make the long winter more interesting.  We are always testing, always inventing and always looking to offer more joy to our customers.


Can I make a flavor request?

Wow, good question! If you have ideas for delicious flavor combinations, we are always looking to experiment, so shoot us an email. If you are requesting a flavor for a special event, get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do.


Do you have any gluten free cookies?

Sorry, we don’t have any gluten free cookies, but we can recommend a great gluten free bakery to pair with your pint of Leona’s. 


Do you have any non-dairy flavors?

All of our ice cream is 100% real dairy, 100% lactose-free. We don’t have any non-dairy flavors yet….


Can you donate ice cream or sandwiches to my event or organization?

We do a few in-kind donations each year. At the beginning of the year we decide on our charitable direction and stick with a few small organizations that align with our values as a company. This strategy allows us to do the most good with the resources we have.


Can you cater my event?

We would love to! Here is a form to request event catering. Please note that we require a minimum of two weeks lead time for all events.


Do you ship Leona’s?

In 2017, we dipped our toes into shipping Leona’s for winter holidays. We’ve shipped to California, Texas, Florida, and some other places that are typically colder and closer to us in Pennsylvania. We’re working on getting our systems down--it’s no joke to ship ice cream to Texas--and we hope to offer shipping on a more regular basis in the future. One more thing about shipping--all of the materials that we use to ship our ice cream are 100% biodegradable. That’s right, even down to the insulation. We think that’s pretty cool.


Can I buy Leona’s online?

If you are interested in ordering for your office, you can find us on Foodee. We also do online ordering for Thanksgiving and winter holidays for pickup at local stores. Might we suggest subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? We announce all special orders online first! Plus, sometimes we post pictures of cute dogs and babies eating ice cream.


How long do Leona’s last?

It all depends on how cold your freezer is. Ice cream should be stored below zero to keep it as fresh as possible for as long as possible. We’ve conducted strictly non-scientific studies and found that sandwiches stored in a home freezer were delicious a month after purchase.


Do your ice cream or cookies contain nuts?

Not unless specified on the allergen statement that you can find at the very end of the ingredient list. However, some of our products do contain nuts, and while we take steps to avoid cross contamination, some may occur.


Whoa, my ice cream is really soft but everything else in my freezer is frozen solid?!? 

First, don’t panic. Ice cream likes to be stored really cold, colder than the freezing point of water. Ice cream should be stored below 0°F. That’s really cold! You might need to turn down the temperature of your freezer if you’re finding soft ice cream in there. You might also want to double check that you’re closing your freezer door all the way (it happens). Also, we know that you want your ice cream easily accessible, but you should actually store it in the coldest part of your freezer, towards the back and nestled in with other frozen things, but definitely not on the door. Please know that everyone’s freezer is different and if you put something in the freezer that is not yet frozen and it’s next to your ice cream, the item will probably melt your ice cream in the process of freezing itself. SCIENCE!


Do you ever just sell the cookies?

We don’t sell any of our baked cookies, but we do sell frozen cookie dough. Our packs of cookie dough come with 16 balls of dough, ready to be arranged on a baking tray and popped in the oven so you can take the credit. Cookie dough is available September-February at select locations. If your local Leona’s dealer doesn’t carry dough and you’d like them to, go ahead and let your opinion be known.


How many calories are in a serving?

We don’t calculate the calories in every sandwich but each sandwich but they range between 420 and 560 calories, depending on the ingredients. That’s about as many calories in a slice of chocolate cake with frosting, in case you were wondering!


Are you on social media?

Yes! You can follow us on twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We post pictures of ice cream, beer, cookies, and we keep you updated on new places to find Leona’s.


Where do your ingredients come from?

We buy our dairy from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA. The farms that Trickling Springs works with milk heritage breed cows, feed their animals grass, produce very clean milk, and use no synthetic hormones. We tested dairy from all over, and we think that Trickling Springs tastes the best.

We source from local producers whenever possible. That means that we work with local farmers to supply fruit in season, and we work with local companies to source flour, chocolate, vinegar, and spices. Check out this list to get a sense of our sourcing. When we can’t get it locally, we try to get it as clean as we can.

On top of that, we have a garden where we grow mint, strawberries, blueberries, huckleberries, flowers, and more. The garden is a new endeavor for Leona’s, and we’re excited to see what we can grow in the future.


How can Leona’s ice cream be 100% real dairy AND 100% lactose free?

Lactose is just milk sugar that’s made up of two other sugars. Leona’s ice cream is made lactose free with the help of an enzyme added to break the two sugars apart into individual components so your body can more easily digest it. The process doesn’t change flavor or texture, it just changes one sugar to two. Science!!


Does lactose-free taste or feel different?

Nope. Our ice cream is creamy, cold and sweet. Just like ice cream should be. The only thing that will feel different is your lactose-intolerant belly.


Are the cookies lactose free too?

We use real butter in our cookies. Butter contains a very small amount of lactose—.03 grams per tablespoon, to be exact. However, if our cookies call for cream or milk, we make sure it’s lactose free before we use it.


What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar that is found primarily in milk and dairy products. Normally, the body produces an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down lactose into two simple sugars, glucose and galactose, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Lactose intolerance happens when a body does not make enough lactase to fully digest the lactose. This lack of digestion causes mild to very uncomfortable side effects. Different people can handle different amounts of lactose, and there’s a solution to meet most needs in the dairy case –from lactose-free milk to dairy foods that are typically easier to digest.


Have a question we haven't answered? Shoot us a note, info@leonaspgh.com.