Western New York’s Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream is well known for unconventional and original ice cream (honeyed fig and chèvre, anyone?) so it’s no surprise that their latest project is just as unique as the flavors they serve up in downtown Lockport. Lake Effect owners Jason Wulf and Erik Bernardi teamed up with local business Quinlan and Company to create a iPhone application so users can get their digital fix of Lake Effect Ice Cream anytime, anyplace. We spoke with Jason about the app to get the scoop on the sweet new app.
How did you guys come up with the idea for the app?
Actually it was kind of thrown around at a meeting we had with Ryan DiMillo. Ryan is a past student of mine and now the VP of operations at Quinlan and Company. We were meeting to put our heads together to streamline our online presence and establish a new website (which is in the works).
Who designed the app?
Ryan and his team at Quinlan built the app. We worked with his team to come up with the design and, more importantly, the purpose of the app. They were excellent to work with.
So, why does an ice cream shop need a smartphone app?
The app addressed all of our biggest communication issues.
- It’s a location finder so everyone knows where they can get their next Lake Effect Fix, no matter where they are.
- It gives people a jump off point to all of our social media sites, making it easier for people to get information about us.
- It is an ongoing flavor library, complete with descriptions, ingredients and allergen answers.
- It gave us a direct feedback link to our customers.
- It’s awesome!
What’s the coolest feature about the app?
The coolest feature has to be the “Lake Effect Yeti” feature. This will allow us to pick a point and time to place one of us somewhere in WNY to hand out new flavors, t-shirts etc… It’s a really cool take on a digital scavenger hunt. The potential uses of it are endless.
Are there any plans to add more features? Will there be an Android version of the app?
We are always thinking of ways to improve it but are working on adding all the data we need to first. We built our whole company on the idea of starting small, mastering that step and then moving on. The app is thought of the same way.
Currently we are working on finishing our web page. When that is finished we will move on to the android version. I’m an old school Apple user and borderline Apple Evangelist. I love the fact that when I look at my iPhone I get to see our app sitting there on my first screen.
How popular has it been so far?
We are really excited at how many people have downloaded it and are using it! The whole idea was to make it useful and fun at the same time. We hope it does that.
You can download the app in the iTunes store here, or download it directly onto your iPhone or iPod touch. For more information on Lake Effect Ice Cream you can visit their website at http://lakeeffecticecream.blogspot.com/.