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Vegan Ice Cream Maven to Open Scoop Shop in East Village

By Serena Solomon | December 20, 2013 3:24pm

EAST VILLAGE — The ice cream connoisseur behind the shuttered vegan sweets shop Stogo is bringing his treats back to the East Village early next year.

Malcolm Stogo and his new vegan ice cream company DF Mavens will open the brand's first scoop parlor in March at St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue, just a few blocks from the former Stogo spot on East 11th Street.

DF Mavens' ice cream is made in a factory in Astoria, Queens, with a soy, almond or coconut milk base. Flavors include Key Lime Creme and Sicilian Hazelnut Truffle, and there are also options with no added sugar.

"[The East Village] is a young population and it has a much healthier lifestyle, where people are after quality of life and quality of food," Stogo, 72, said of his decision to open his new shop in the neighborhood.

Stogo went from being a restaurateur to an ice cream consultant 30 years ago, and he believes the demand for lactose-free ice cream is more than just a trend.

"People just have stomach aches and they don't know why," he said. "Then more and more people are coming out as lactose intolerant and it's very apparent as you get older."

Stogo left his eponymous East Village ice cream shop four years ago, citing differences of opinion over expansion plans and product quality. When it closed in November 2012, Stogo staff blamed high rents in the neighborhood along with the eight-day shutdown caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Over the past 18 months, Stogo and a group of advisers including Victoria Moran, the author of Main Street Vegan, have been developing DF Mavens and its products. The ice cream is already sold in Whole Foods and other supermarkets, including several in New Jersey.

“Our No. 1 goal when we started this product was we wanted something better, not just substantially, but substantially, substantially better," he said.

Stogo has written books on ice cream and runs seminars about the craft through his other business, the Ice Cream University.

"I love ice cream," he said Friday morning. "Actually, I'm making some right now."