Campus Creamery celebrates its grand opening
Campus Creamery, a new Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP) campus store selling ice cream, celebrated its grand opening outside the Gregg storefronts on March 30.
Sophomore Harrison Lieber, founder and owner of Campus Creamery, performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside Chancellor Andrew Martin in front of over 200 attendees who were eager to try Washington University’s only ice cream store. Students waited in line to try the ice cream and its many mix-in variations.
At 8 p.m., Lieber delivered a brief speech to the crowd, expressing his gratitude to his friends, University members who support him, including StEP, and his family, who traveled to be present for the opening.
“I love [WashU],” Lieber said. “I love all my friends here, and I wanted to find a way to enhance student life here. And this was my outlet to do that. And seeing all of you here tonight is really, really exciting, so I hope you all enjoy it.”
After the opening, attendees stood outside the store as they tried their ice cream and watched the student band, Non-Euclidean Geometry, perform.
The ice cream comes in sizes mini, regular, and large, with additional mix-ins available depending on the size. Prices range from $5.50 for a mini ice cream to $8.60 for a large, and students can pay with Bear Bucks, credit or debit cards, or Apple Pay.
Lieber said that the existing menu is subject to change and that student suggestions would guide the future of the creamery.
“A lot of people are upset that there’s no vegan flavor,” Lieber said. “We’ll do that. We’ll get a chocolate base if people want. I’ll literally do whatever people want.”
Campus Creamery is the newest of the University’s StEP businesses, which is a University loan program in the Skandalaris Center that provides students loans of up to $10,000 to start their own business on the South 40.
Martin said that he supports the StEP initiatives and the students who participate because he believes it benefits the University.
“I think opportunities for students to be able to start businesses, to serve students, and to locate it here on the South 40 is a real, positive educational experience for the students who are involved,” Martin said. “I think it can really add a lot to our community.”
First-year Simon Horowitz expressed similar sentiments about entrepreneurial opportunities at WashU.
“I think it’s cool that we can take an idea and put it into expression through [StEP],” Bridge said. “The reception from students shows how much we want each other to succeed.”
Since Lieber began working with the Skandalaris Center over a year ago, he has collaborated with various other business partners, including an architecture firm, a construction team, and an engineering team. He also said that he has already hired some employees, but plans to employ more people in the future.
“I have my employees now which is awesome,” Lieber said. “They’re helping me with scooping, and I’ll allocate positions to them because it’s been hard over the last couple of months. I definitely could use a little more help.”
At the end of the day, however, Lieber said that the business was the result of his own efforts.
“I don’t have a team,” Lieber said. “It’s pretty much me.”
Other Community members expressed that the Campus Creamery will add positively to the culture of WashU and, specifically, to the South 40. A particular aspect of the Campus Creamery that excited students, such as First-year Lauren Speicher, is its late-night hours.
“I love going to Olin to study late at night,” Speicher said. “I think it’s really cool that it’s gonna be open until 2 a.m. BD closes at 12, so it’s gonna be a late-night, post-studying snack.”
Lieber shared their sentiments and said that he is optimistic that Campus Creamery will succeed.
“There will be plenty of people who want ice cream,” Lieber said. “There’s not much else open. We’re open until 2 on weekends. It’ll be popular.”
Lieber is not only confident about the future of Campus Creamery on the South 40, but he also hopes to take it beyond WashU after he graduates. He said that StEP requires students to sell their shares when they graduate to keep StEP businesses in student ownership, but that he might want to do things differently.
“There’s a certain limitation on StEP programs,” Lieber said. “Where, when you graduate, you’re required to sell. My long-term goal is to take this to other universities and have this expand into something bigger that started at WashU,” Lieber said.
Martin said along with appreciating the work that went into creating the Campus Creamery, he liked the ice cream itself.
“The ice cream is very, very good,” Martin said. “It’s sort of like a concrete, like we do here in St. Louis, with custard.”
First-year Chris Bridge enjoyed the event and the broad appeal the Campus Creamery has.
“I mean,” Bridge said. “Who doesn’t like ice cream?”