P’unk Avenue

Ilyssa Kyu

If not rambling through the woods with her dog, Ilyssa is leading us through the research & strategy phase of a project with her background in industrial and human-centered design.

Published

Mon, Apr 6 2015

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Though our door reads “Websites, not coffee,” we have been working on a lot of projects that don’t result in websites for several years now. Several weeks ago, we hosted a workshop in our studio with Little Baby’s Ice Cream to produce perhaps by far the coolest outcome of our workshop process yet. Yes, you guessed it—ice cream.  

On April 1st, P’unk Ave turned 10 and we thought what better way to celebrate it with our very own ice cream flavor made by our friends at Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

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Our studio is surrounded by interesting flavors given our proximity to Mexican bodegas, Vietnamese noodle halls and the rapidly growing number of new foodie restaurants along the avenue. Within our studio, the air always carries the scent of freshly brewed coffee and on Monday afternoons during our team meetings, you can bet on a plate of bacon to accompany our weekly team lunch. If you’re lucky and are in the studio during one of our many celebrations (i.e. a birthday, a P’unkiversary, a project launch), you’ll also likely find a platter stacked with cannoli’s or donuts.

In our workshop with the Little Baby’s Ice Cream crew, we explored not only these flavors but the emotions and stories that are so intricately entangled with the tastes, smells, appearance and textures of food. Furthermore, we explored smells, objects and colors that we associate with P’unk Avenue and shared essays written by members of our team, using food as a metaphor to describe our beliefs, values and characteristics as a company. You can read and see more from this workshop here.

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The Flavors

The flavors were unveiled last week at our 10-year P’unk Birthday Party and we are so excited to share not only the flavors but the meaning behind each one.

Always Be Rooted

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Ingredients: beet juice, candied beets, candied carrots, and a chicory coffee swirl. 
 
Process: The Little Baby’s Ice Cream team used beets – a root vegetable – as a major component of this flavor—some juiced and some finely diced into cubes alongside carrots in sugar. For texture and crunch, they reduced strongly brewed cafe du monde chicory coffee and reduced it with sugar to make a syrup. 
 
Inspiration: This flavor was inspired by conversations we had during the workshop about coffee as a predominant flavor profile in our studio, as well as conversations around one of our motto’s “Always Be Human” and our guiding metaphors about root bridges. Here is an excerpt from our P’unk Guide about root bridges:
In northeastern India, bridges aren’t built as structures predetermined by blueprints. Instead, they are grown with time and care, beginning as a single root and over many years evolving to full-length bridges that can support the weight of dozens of people. In fact, because they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time—and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunji may be well over 500 years old.
As a company, we embrace the idea of growing organically. From time to time the team might take on a new initiative that needs patience— just as stray roots eventually join their counterparts to strengthen the bridge, we trust that our intuition will lead us in the right direction and that our projects will grow to the point where they are ready to be folded into P’unk Ave’s vision.  

The P'unk Fl-ave-r

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Ingredients: bacon fat, cannoli shells and chocolate chip ice cream with a whiskey mountain dew syrup and a peanut butter pretzel topping.

Inspiration:  Described by the Little Baby’s team as the“kitchen sink” of flavors that frequent the P’unk Ave studio, their team was excited about the challenge of getting all of these ingredients into one flavor. This was not a challenge as, for obvious reasons, you cannot go wrong with mixing bacon and cannoli. 

Process: To mix the bacon and cannoli into a single flavor experience, they took the bacon fat from the bacon that Pizza Brain (their flagship location’s neighbors) makes for their pizza’s and combined it with cannoli shells and chocolate chips. 
 
For the topping, the Little Baby’s team was entertained by a story our team shared about a presentation gaff involving the soda Mountain Dew, which has been adopted as a favorite inside joke and team name within P’unk Ave. Despite a failed cocktail experiment our team attempted for celebrating a birthday, the Little Baby’s team successfully took on this challenge and created a sweet and delicious syrup made from a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew reduced with sugar and mixed with a splash of Maker's Mark, for a little kick. To top off the topping, another favorite snack at P’unk Ave – crumbled a peanut butter pretzels – was sprinkled on top to complete an already delectable treat. 

In the end, this experience was a great testament to our process working for many different types of projects and we’re excited to see what the next 10 years brings!

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