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 two years 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 70 locations around the Pittsburgh metro area.
What makes your ice cream different?
Our ice cream is super premium. It's sourced from local, grass fed, sustainably raised cows. It's 16% butter fat and has a low overrun, so there isn't much air whipped into it. So you get more ice cream per spoonful than other ice creams. 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 more than 120 different flavors of sandwiches and pints. Here is a map of the ones that made it through testing. We don't make all of them at once though! Think strawberry in early spring, hot chocolate in the winter and berries in high summer. We offer about 10-15 different flavors at once and they showcase the best of the season. Our retail locations receive an assortment of the sandwiches we make at any given moment, so go in and check them out, you might just find your new favorite!
Can I buy a scoop of Leona's?
We don’t have a scoop shop… yet. For now, here is a map 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, Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble 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 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.