More than just ice cream: Broad Ripple’s beloved BRICS provides summer’s favorite treat with a side of history, sustainability and heart for giving back

In Your Neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS– Nothing hits the spot on a hot summer day like a few scoops of your favorite ice cream.

And there’s no better Broad Ripple staple than BRICS, short for “Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station,” located at 901 E. 64th Street, right off the Monon Trail.

Going strong for 11 years now, BRICS offers a little bit of something for everyone: tasty ice cream with a side of local history and topped off with a huge heart for the community.

We’re getting the scoop on Broad Ripple Village’s favorite ice cream joint on this tasty trip In Your Neighborhood.                 

Photo credit: BRICS Facebook page

“For those folks that have lived in the Indy area for a while, they know the history of the Monon Trail. It actually once was a railway that went through the heart of the city,” said BRICS co-owner Kristie Hileman. “The building we stand in is actually the original train station here in Broad Ripple Village.”

Although that building is now home to BRICS ice cream shop, you’ll still see plenty of nods to history all around you, from the photos and railway themed décor, to some of the holdover features in the building itself.

“Specifically, one of our doors that you can use to enter the building, that was where the luggage was brought in and loaded onto the train cars,” she said. “And this original space here… the main area of the store where the ice cream cases are, this was the original foot print and it was really well maintained.”

Photo credit: Yelp Indy via BRICS

These days, what used to be a ticket window is now a walk-up window, where customers can pick from 40 flavors each day, eight of which are vegan options.

“And we make them in-house,” Hileman added. “Our main ice cream portfolio is around Sherman’s Family Dairy, which is the brand that we opened with.”

Some of the most popular flavors in the lineup include Broad Ripple blackberry, chocolate malt supreme—which BRICS has dubbed “Chocolate Choo-Choo”.

“A lot of the flavors are named after the train theme obviously of us being in the old train station,” she said.

The best part? You don’t have to worry about choosing just one flavor. Here, the regular adult size includes three scoops of ice cream.

“My favorite flavor combination is chocolate malt supreme, French silk and Broad Ripple blackberry,” Hileman said. “The chocolate and the blackberries make a really fun tart, yet creamy experience and I absolutely love it and recommend it every time.”

The flavor lineup also includes some kid-friendly favorites like yellow cake batter, birthday cake, blue moon and their version of the fan favorite, Superman, which BRICS calls “Scooperman.”  

Photo credit: BRICS Facebook page

“A lot of other parlors our there sometimes will sometimes do kids flavors but they just are vanilla with dye and that’s not what you’re going to find here at BRICS,” she noted. “Everything that we have is really superior flavors and just fun, fun times.”

Another thing that sets BRICS apart is its dedication to sustainability.

The business recently became carbon neutral certified.

“All of our products that the customer receives, like the spoon, a cup, cone or a napkin, everything we use is compostable.  It’s just the best way to ensure the product doesn’t end up in a landfill,” said Hileman. “And hopefully now that COVID is potentially a thing of the past, we’re really excited to be getting back to serving in glassware and reusables [because] that’s the best way that we can cut down our footprint.”

Since giving back is another key priority, the shop strives to donate 5% of their revenue within the community each year, while also hitting the road in their ice cream truck for give-back events and other outreaches.

Photo credit: Yelp Indy via BRICS

“It’s always been our vision and plan that this organization, our company, is really just a way for us to continue to do the good that we believe the community needs to do,” she said. “So every year, when we sell more ice cream, that means we give more back.”

Four Things You Need to Know About BRICS:

  • BRICS is open year round and offers 40 different flavors of ice cream daily, as well as waffle cones, malts, shakes, and sundaes. The menu also includes cookies, coffees, teas and hot chocolate. For dairy-free patrons, BRICS has options available with a separate vegan-friendly case. Right now, the shop is only offering outdoor seating and service at their walk-up window but they’re looking forward to reopening inside again soon.
  • You can also enjoy BRICS through their take-home party packs, or by booking them for catering events like weddings, festivals and corporate events. “ I think at this point we have 70 events between now and the end of the year so we’re extremely busy…  so if you can’t see us here at the store and there’s a local festival happening in your area inside of the city, we’re likely to be present ,” said co-owner Kirstie Hileman.
  • BRICS has a deep passion for the environment and community. They are carbon neutral certified and are always focusing on sustainability and minimizing their carbon footprint. Within the community, they strive to give back 5% of revenue each year and often donate (either financially or through ice cream donations) to various local causes and organizations. “Some of the big organizations that we partner with are organizations like ArtMix Indy, who try to bring art and education to folks who are of special needs. We support the Indianapolis Art Center [and] we were just at a give-back for a local school,” said Hileman. “Pretty much any organization that is a not for profit in Indy, we try to touch in one way, shape or form.”
  •  BRICS is hiring right now! They pride themselves for being a great first job for young people but they are also looking to hire older adults who enjoy working with young people in a fast-paced environment and want to impact their community.

For more information about BRICS, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out the restaurant’s Yelp page. You can also connect on social media via Facebook and Instagram.

While in Broad Ripple, check out these other popular local businesses located just a short walk from BRICS:

  • Flatwater Restaurant
  • Three Dog Bakery
  • Lola Blu Boutique
  • Just Pop In!

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