Roosevelt Island Gets Exclusive Access to Beloved Cornell Dairy Ice Cream

When Cornell University partnered with the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology to build a new graduate school on Roosevelt Island, they didn’t just bring their reputation as an Ivy League school. They also brought their ice cream.

“Cornell Dairy in Ithaca is thrilled to have the dairy’s ice cream available on Roosevelt Island at the Café – the first time any Cornell Dairy product has ever been available in the New York City area,” said Deanna Simons, quality manager and academic program coordinator at Cornell Dairy, via a telephone interview.

Since 1880, the Cornell Dairy, a licensed dairy processing plant that is part of the University’s renowned Department of Food Science, has produced milk, yogurt, and ice cream for the Cornell campus. The milk comes from the University’s own dairy herd in Ithaca, New York, which is managed by the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

The ice cream is handcrafted in small batches by student apprentices and their mentors. Proceeds support education and outreach programs in Cornell’s Department of Food Science. The dairy also holds the distinction of being the only kosher university dairy plant that Cornell is aware of in the United States. In April 2016, the dairy became kosher to help ensure its teaching and research mission was as inclusive as possible.

“We were thrilled to work with our fellow Cornellians to bring Cornell Dairy to the Café at Cornell Tech in the Bloomberg Center,” remarked Floyd Young, senior director of facilities operations at Cornell Tech. “There is nothing like bringing a community together by sitting on the café patio with a beautiful view of the New York skyline and a pint of Cornell Dairy ice cream.”

The Cafe’s selection of ice cream includes over 15 flavors, including Ezra’s Morning Cup, Cornelia’s Dark Secret, Peanut Butter Mini, Clock Tower Pumpkin, and Cornell President Martha Pollack’s signature flavor, Martha’s Bits & Bytes.

And the partnership doesn’t stop at ice cream, says Gabriel Solano, general manager of the Café. “Other Cornell products we feature include their freshly squeezed orange juice, their milk, and some cheese products. The products really redefine farm-to-table. We can’t wait for the spring semester to roll out our ice cream cart.”

What’s more, Islanders will one day be able to get their hands on a flavor made exclusively for Cornell Tech. According to Young, a student contest will get under way shortly to develop the new flavor. Cornell Dairy staff will assist the winning team in bringing their flavor to market and developing a name for it.

For Simons, Cornell Dairy – an innovator in the dairy industry – is the perfect complement to Cornell Tech, itself a center of innovation and frontier science. She said that it’s been a goal of Cornell Dairy to be a part of Cornell Tech – one that is now realized.

“And on a practical level,” added Tim Barnard, general manager of dairy operations, “Cornell Tech Café has given Cornell Dairy a great gift – ample storage that enables us to ship sufficient enough quantities of ice cream to make the products affordable and thereby accessible.”

Cornell Dairy ice cream is a sentimental favorite among Cornell alumni, including Islander Hannah Kranich, who says she’s thrilled that the brand is now available in New York City.

“We’ve gotten great feedback from our neighbors, the students, faculty, staff, and visitors,” says Young. “We’re so glad people are enjoying it!”

Once word reaches the many alumni in the greater New York area that, at long last, the ice cream is available nearby at Cornell Tech, perhaps even more visitors will flock to the Island. Hopefully, these visitors will also take time, “post ice cream,” to explore the Island beyond the campus.

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