Vendor Spotlight: Meet Caitlin Howington of Pint’s Peak Ice Cream

What makes your company special?

I started the company just 2 weeks after being laid off due to Covid-19. As a pastry chef, I’d had dreams of starting an ice cream business and finally had the time to focus on it. Most ice cream companies use a pre-made base flavored with extracts and oils. We proudly make everything from scratch, from the base to every mix-in whether it’s a sauce or cookie or a marshmallow. We’ll also never do a plain vanilla - flavors include Coconut Lemongrass with a peanut caramel, Burnt Sugar Sage, and Sweet Corn.

What inspired you to start your company?

My career started in pastry arts, with a degree in pastry and 8 years of experience working in fine dining restaurants and hotels. I left the kitchen to fine tune other skills and worked in sales, operations, events, and marketing. When I was laid off, I decided to double down on my ice cream business and now had a blend of skill sets that lend themselves well to entrepreneurship.

Tell us all about the characteristics of your brand.

We are innovative, playful, quirky, and approachable with an emphasis on sourcing local high quality ingredients and promoting other small businesses.

What has been the biggest challenge since you started?

There have been constant challenges, but adapting to the needs and wants of consumers remains a continual challenge.

Tell us a funny story about starting up your business.

When I first started, I was delivery-only and driving all over the place trying to deliver a product before it melts. Picture the movie Speed with Keanu Reeves but with ice cream as the time bomb (this was before I started storing it in dry ice). As time went on, I wanted to have a pickup option as well but had the unique challenge of not having a storefront. The best solution I came up with was to bring a few coolers to a park and hope it wouldn’t weird out my customers to pick up ice cream in the same way they’d pick up drugs. Fortunately, the absurdity worked for everyone! There’s quite a novelty in it, and it really is a part of the whole underground ice cream shop experience.

How do you navigate fundraising?

I am still navigating it. Sales from the company funded it to where it is now, and we’re now seeking alternative funding to grow to the next level.

How did COVID-19 affect your business?

It was born in it, baby! The model was built entirely for Covid-19, with pre-ordering online. As restrictions lifted this summer, we’ve actually had to pivot out of that models - whereas most other businesses had to pivot into Covid, we have to pivot out of it. I eliminated the online pre-ordering so that we could focus on getting into more stores.

Tell us something people might not know about your brand.

Being that I’m so awful at coming up with names, my dad actually came up with the name Pint’s Peak, a play on Pikes Peak. He lives in Florida of all places. Thanks, Dad.

What advice would you give to companies like yours just starting up?

Be patient, things will always take longer than you think they should. Be disciplined. Be selective about who you decide to work with.

What are your ambitions for the future?

We just launched our new catering and events side of the business which is very exciting. On top of that, we’re continuing to work on getting into more stores while also doing pop-up events and collaborations whenever possible.

If you could go back in time and do-over one business decision, what would it be?

I’d have started with half a million dollars in the bank if I could. :)

Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your company?

Come join the underground ice cream community! Find us a

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