I spend my days thinking about brands. Food brands. I gauge if a new milk product is going to sell well, based on its packaging and branding message. I labor over language and relationships and images connected to the brand of the store. I constantly strive to determine what brand is the most unique, most transparent, most ethical, most sustainable, most delicious, most local, most… whatever. Sometimes, it’s just exhausting.
Which is why, when I stumbled across what was essentially an unbrand, I fell in love.
No fancy language. No slogan. No twitter account. (Not even a mention on twitter.) No photographs or website or special signage or anything. Just a freestanding ice cream shop with a reader board next to the road, 100 feet of plastic triangles spread to its sign and an energetic young woman who was extremely curious about my taking pictures.
There’s a walk-up window. And flavors such as Anniversary Cake and Superman. And Mango sorbet. When I asked the girl if the ice cream was homemade, she said no. And I didn’t care. I totally didn’t care.
Because there were seats like these, nestled into cracked black asphalt. Because there was a gravel driveway. Because it was a beautiful evening and there was no line. Because I became, for a minute or two, an eight-year-old again.
And even though I didn’t take my lactose intolerance pill, even though the ice cream wasn’t the best I’d had, even though it didn’t come with recycled napkins with a cool logo and a website printed upon them, I was happy.
Because sometimes, just sometimes, ice cream is simply ice cream.
Sparano’s Ice Cream & Gelato
1783 N. Hague Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43204